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Kenya Kings of Cricket League
07 Feb 2007
By: Arunava Das

The Kenyans were looking for revenge, with Scotland having defeated Kenya convincingly in the league stage of the tournament. Then, Scotland were the winners by 77 runs. This time, Kenya took the victory in the match that mattered the most by 8 wickets.

Scotland began the day well, with captain Craig Wright winning the toss and electing to bat on what looked like an excellent batting wicket. The Scots began their innings slowly, with Kenyan opening bowlers Thomas Odoyo and Peter Ongondo applying the pressure with accurate bowling.

The first wicket to go was that of Majid Haq, who edged to Odoyo to Tikolo to go for only three. The following partnership was the best of the day for Scotland as Fraser Watts and Ryan Watson put on 50 in quick time. They were assisted in their cause by some sloppy fielding from Kenya. Watson was put down on four while a chance to run out Watts was also missed.

However, soon after the fifty partnership was brought up, Watson top edged Lameck Onyango to fine leg to be dismissed for 28. From there on, the Kenyans were visibly sharper in the field and it was a procession of wickets as Scotland slumped to 66-6. David Obuya even managed to make amends for his earlier missed run out opportunity by brilliantly throwing the stumps down to catch the in-form Neil McCallum out of his crease.

Scotland was briefly able to rally as captain Craig Wright and Dougie Brown put on 39. The tail supported the skipper ably until he was gone, another victim of excellent fielding to be run out for 30. The tailenders, through the efforts of Ross Lyons, Paul Hoffmann and John Blain, combined to smash a few boundaries to take Scotland over the 150 mark. However, Hoffmann eventually perished going for one more big shot and Scotland were dismissed in 47 overs for only 155.

In reply, Kenya began slowly as they played for the lunch interval. Only five overs of the Kenyan innings were possible before lunch, and Kenyan openers Maurice Ouma and David Obuya saw their team through to the interval with 11 runs on the board and no wickets lost.

Following the interval, the pair gradually opened up while still eschewing any risks in the pursuit of the modest target. The score reached 48 when when yet another run out brought about the demise of Ouma for a patient 23. His partner, Obuya, was clearly incensed at the senseless run out and took his anger out on the bowler, smashing a six and a four from the remainder of the over.

With the momentum firmly going Kenya's way, Obuya, and his new partner at the crease Ravi Shah milked the Scottish bowling as they eased towards the target of 156. The pair hit few boundaries, instead electing to push the ball around to great effect. Scotland had just one significant chance to break the stand when Obuya came down the wicket to Haq only to miss the ball. However, Smith missed the simple stumping chance and Obuya didn't look back.

Obuya soon brought up an excellent fifty off 71 balls, hitting only one four and one six in the innings. His next task was to ensure he didn't throw the innings away after getting a start. Obuya slowly accelerated the scoring rate but again took no risks in doing so. He had made his way to 93, and the partnership to 97, when an attempted hit out of the park only found Hamilton at midwicket. Obuya had faced 117 balls for his 93.

The dismissal of Obuya only brought the Kenyan skipper Steve Tikolo to the middle, and he was in no mood to stick around. With only 11 runs required at the fall of the wicket, Tikolo smashed his first ball away for four, and he hit another off his third as the captain looked to finish things quickly.

Come the 38th over the Kenyans needed just another three runs for a memorable win. Shah took a leg bye off the first ball and Tikolo hit another four off the fifth ball of the over to wrap up victory in style. The captain finished not out on 12 while Shah was unbeaten on 24. However, the plaudits went to David Obuya for his matchwinning and personal best innings of 93.

Kenya took out the inaugural ICC World Cricket League Division One comfortably in the end, and cemented their position as one of the strongest of the non-Test teams.

Scotland 155 (47)
Craig Wright 30(45), Ryan Watson 28(39)
Lameck Onyango 3-43(10), Jimmy Kamande 2-20(9)

Kenya win by 8 wickets.
Kenya win the ICC World Cricket League Division One.

Kenya 158-2 (37.5)
David Obuya 93(117), Ravi Shah 24*(51)
Ross Lyons 1-44(8)

CricketWeb Player of the Match
David Obuya

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