Kenya could rise to 9th in ICC ODI Championship table

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Dubai, Oct 16 (UNI) Kenya could jump from 12th to ninth in the ICC ODI Championship table if it puts together a run of stellar performances in the coming weeks.

Even though ninth-placed Bangladesh is 47 points ahead of Kenya, it is possible for Steve Tikolo's team to close the gap if they beat Ireland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Ireland and Zimbabwe go head to head in the opening match of an ODI tri-series which starts in Nairobi tomorrow with the three teams involved playing each other twice and the final taking place in Nairobi Gymkhana on October 25.

Given Kenya is currently on the bottom of the ODI Championship table it has the most to gain, and victories over Ireland and Zimbabwe in its opening two games would see it shoot up and overtake both in the rankings into 10th position.

And if it continues its winning ways and finishes the series unbeaten, it would then go into two ODIs against South Africa with confidence sky-high.

A victory in either or both of those games in Kimberley and Potchefstroom would put the semi-finalists from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 ahead of Bangladesh in ninth place.

Ireland is currently ranked in 10th spot, ahead of all the other associate teams and Zimbabwe. After beating Kenya by an innings and 65 runs in this week's four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match, William Porterfield's team will be confident it can continue that could form into the one-day version of the game.

Wins over Kenya and Zimbabwe would put a big gap between the Irishmen and their nearest rivals and although they cannot quite catch Bangladesh on this occasion, they certainly can put serious pressure on Mohammad Ashraful's team.

But conversely, because Ireland is ranked above the other two, the pressure will be on as defeats could relegate it to a lowly 12th on the table.

Zimbabwe will by eyeing this tri-series as an opportunity to regain one place in the rankings and a good showing will put it back up to 10th position. However, like Ireland, captain Prosper Utseya will be anxious not to let his guard drop or his side could end up bottom of the pile.

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