Monday, August 07, 2006
Kenya once again showed their superiority to Canada in the One Day form of the game as they defeated them by 5 wickets in the second ODI in Toronto to take the two match series 2-0.
Canada won the toss, but once again Peter Ongondo struck early to remove Davidson (0) with the score on 2 and give Kenya the upper hand. Barnett and Bagai looked for a while as though they might get Canada to a decent total putting on a valuable, if slow 63 for the second wicket, but then Kenya's spinners started to work their magic. Barnett (35) was given run out by Kennedy Obuya, but it was off Variaya's bowling. Not to be put off by not being credited with the wicket, the 22-year old struck immediately after to remove Ifil for a duck. Canada suddenly looked shaky at 3-65. Six runs later, Kenya's other spinner, Steve Tikolo clean bowled Chumney (26) and followed it up by removing Qaiser Ali caught and bowled the next ball. He did not get his hat-trick, but did get a third not long after when he trapped Codrington (4) to have Canada in all sorts of trouble at 6-86. Dhaniram's run out took the score to 7-93, then it was Variaya's turn again. He mopped up the last three wickets for only 1 more run first removing Maxwell (caught Tikolo) for a duck, then a run later, Bagai (16) caught and bowled and finished off by doing the same to Osinde first ball. This leaves him sitting on a hat-trick when he faces Bangladesh in Nairobi next week. Tikolo finished with figures of 9 overs, 3/14, Variaya with 9.2 overs, 1 maiden, 4/25. He has now taken 7 wickets from his first two ODIs. A great start for the young man and one that should give him great confidence going in to the real test against Bangladesh in Nairobi.
Kenya's reply started remarkably well in that both openers got a start. Kennedy Obuya (19) was first to go adjudged LBW to Dhaniram with the Kenya score almost at the half way mark. Brijal Patel (23) was then out without adding further to the score, a mistake that saw two new batsmen left at the crease. Not a good way to defend a position that by rights should have been given to someone else this match anyway. Two further quick wickets fell in the over as both Kamande and Modi fell for ducks. Kenya had slipped from 0/46 to 4/47 and Canada would have thought they were in with a sniff. That hope would soon be quashed by Steve Tikolo and Collins Obuya. Though the latter only added 19 before being bowled by Dhaniram to become Canada's 5th wicket with the score on 69, his presence with Tikolo (29*) was enough to steady the ship, and the captain and Mishra (6*) steered Kenya home with 17 overs remaining. It was not the most convincing of batting performances by Kenya, at one point, we looked like we were going to try to beat Canada's total of 5 ducks, but the important factor was that we won with both time and wickets to spare.
Kenya can be very proud of the way they came back to beat Canada so convincingly in the ODIs. Especially as there were several players whose efforts proved the difference and we did not just rely on one or two individuals. Bangladesh will be a far different proposition, but we are playing them on our own turf, and this may make a difference. Kenya will still go into the next series as underdogs, but with the performances of this weekend fresh in the memory, we should at least go in with the confidence that we have rediscovered what it means to win matches. Several players are in good form, and with a little tweaking here and there from the selectors, an upset or two against the Tigers is perhaps not so far away. Congratulations to the team, and a safe trip home. To all those in Kenya, get down to the ground to support the team this coming weekend, the crowd could really help lift the team and they will need it if they are to keep up their winning ways.
Posted by Chemosit at 8:58 am