Cricket: Kenyan sights on World Cup: ICC Trophy tension

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The Independent Online
THE teams going forward from the ICC Trophy to try their luck in the World Cup next year will be three from Kenya, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and Bermuda. Those four, survivors from the 20 starters, have booked their places in the semi-finals, to be played today and on Thursday.

Although the pressure on the winners will be eased to some extent - both automatically qualify for the World Cup - they will still be anxious to prove their No 1 status among the world's non-Test playing nations. But the real test of temperament will be at Saturday's third-place match. Only the winner gets the chance to travel to India and Pakistan next year.

The hosts, Kenya, made sure of their semi-final place by walloping the second round's gate-crashers, Hong Kong. They play Bermuda.

The Netherlands, the top seeds, are finding the going tough. Having trampled Hong Kong, they were less convincing in beating Bangladesh and then lost to Kenya. Their next opponents, UAE, a team dominated by Pakistanis, built massive totals to beat Ireland and Bermuda, but only sneaked past Canada in the last over.

All the semi-finalists except Kenya will be fielding their strongest squads. The hosts have been weakened by the loss of the hero of their first-round victory over Canada, David Tikolo. The all-rounder has fractured a finger and will be replaced by Alfred 'Boy' Njuguna. The 39-year-old took 5 for 24 against Hong Kong, but Kenya were less impressed by his wicketless eight overs at six runs apiece against Bangladesh.