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Red alert for Kenya

Canada send the African team virtually out of World Cup by beating Kenya by five wickets and register their first win in the World Cup on Monday at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Subhash Rajta reports. Scorecard

cricket Updated: Mar 08, 2011 00:06 IST
Subhash Rajta

"We don't care who's playing! India will win". The writing on the solitary placard at the Ferozshah Kotla made it very clear what the handful of spectators thought of the Kenya-Canada contest unfolding in front of them.

The minnows, as they have been doing, might cry themselves hoarse trying to convince everyone that they deserve to be in the World Cup, but until the spectators are convinced and throng the stadium, their argument won't cut much ice.

On Monday, they failed the all-important crowd test, what with barely around a thousand spectators showing the passion to walk into the stadium and witness Canada wallop Kenya by five wickets.

It's not that it was a boring match, or the standard was below par. In fact, judged on purely cricketing grounds, it was much better than several lop-sided contests the World Cup has witnessed so far, and a few individual performances, too, caught the eye. The problem is, what the minnows do against each other isn't going to get noticed. They need to do something special against the big boys, like what Ireland did against England.

Kenya, in particular, has been the biggest disappointment in the World Cup so far. The giant killers of the 1996 edition - when they defeated the mighty West Indies - have been a pale shadow of their promising self this time around.

Coming into Monday's match after suffering three crushing defeats, Kenya appeared to have again hit the self-destruction button until the lower-middle order rescued them. With this loss, Kenya's chances of posting a win in the World Cup are all but over.