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Following their impressive allround performance three days ago when they beat UAE by 40 runs, Namibia's young side are confident of upsetting the tournament favourites, Kenya, when they meet tomorrow in Sharjah. The win hoisted Namibia to second behind Kenya, on 40 points, and left UAE languishing at second-from-bottom in the Intercontinental Cup table.

"We are happy with how things have gone so far," Abe Louw, the Namibia manager, said after training on Monday. "Back in Namibia we play in the South Africa competition and because our players are not always available, our younger guys have got some exposure and they are really coming through now."

The match was due to be held in Nairobi but, due to the political upheaval in Kenya, it was switched to Sharjah. What stood out in Namibia's victory was the grit showed by their younger members - in particular Dawid Botha, who doesn't turn 20 until July, whose determined 104 helped build Namibia's first-innings lead of 172. In addition, Louis Klazinga, 22, took six wickets in the match and there were solid supporting roles from a number of relatively young players.

"The average age of the team must be around 24 at the moment," Louw said, "and it is all good for the development of this team for the future. We don't know much about this Kenya side as we have not played them in quite a while but we think we have an advantage that the match is being played at a neutral venue."

Kenya, though, are the most experienced team in the competition and Steve Tikolo, the captain, remains bullish of their chances in spite of the devastation in his country.

"We are always a very confident and positive side," said Tikolo. "Under the circumstances, preparations have gone as well as we could hope. Our training ground is in a part of Nairobi that has not been badly affected so the players were able to make it to the ground.

"But it is not easy. With everything that is going on in Kenya at the moment, it has taken some of the focus away from cricket. But I am happy with the combinations we have in the team at the moment. We need to be prepared for all eventualities. Namibia did well against the UAE here so we must not underestimate them. Our bowling is coming along well with Thomas (Odoyo), Peter (Ongondo) and Lameck (Onyango) all looking good at training."

Squads

Namibia Louis Burger (capt), JB Burger, Louis van der Westhuizen, Kola Burger, Michael du Rand, Raymond van Schoor, Tobias Verwey, Wilber Slabber, Louis Klazinga, Dawid Botha, Gerrie Snyman, Ian van Zyl, Bjorn Kotze

Kenya Steve Tikolo (captain), Thomas Odoyo, Alex Obanda, Maurice Ouma, David Obuya, Collins Obuya, Tony Suji, Peter Ongondo, Alfred Luseno, Jimmy Kamande, Elijah Otieno, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Hiren Veraiya, Lameck Onyango
 
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