Pool C: India Outclass Kenya

Sunday, September 12 2004

A well disciplined and clinical performance by India outclassed Kenya, in the opening match of the Pool C counter in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Inspired by calculating batting from Indian Captain, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman and then magical bowling by Harbhajan Singh, the Indian’s got their Champions Trophy campaign rolling in the right direction.

Kenya won the toss and Steve Tikolo had no hesitation in sending India in to bat. A cautious start ensued as Ganguly and Sehwag gave the Kenyan pace attack the respect it deserved. The watchful Ganguly and Sehwag could only look on as the Kenyan’s bowled disciplined line and length in the first few overs of the match.

However, the naturally aggressive Sehwag could no longer curb his aggression as he lashed out at the Kenyan bowlers with a vicious cut shot. But the out for form Sehwag’s troubles continued as a seaming delivery by Thomas Odoyo cleaned up a charging Sehwag for just 17 runs.

Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman continued cautiously as they tried to get through the tough initial period. Ganguly meanwhile showed patches of his good form as he played some breathtaking strokes against the Kenyan attack. To Kenya’s credit, the bowlers maintained a good discipline which ensured that India was only 1/30 in the 10th over.

However with Ganguly and Laxman beginning to consolidate, things were looking ominous for the Kenyan bowlers. Laxman started playing his trademark wristy shots and Ganguly began the acceleration as the pair put up a crucial 100 run partnership.

With boundaries coming thick and fast now, India went past the 100 mark in the 23rd over as Ganguly neared another One Day International half century. Laxman’s elegance played the perfect complement to Ganguly’s aggression as the partnership between the pair reached 161 with VVS Laxman also registering a fine half century.

However with the final stages of the innings approaching, Sourav Ganguly’s brilliant strokeplay came to an end, as the charging Ganguly was bowled by a Martin Suji yorker. Ganguly gone for a stellar 90 and India’s target of 280 looked under threat.

Yuvraj Singh was promoted to keep the scoreboard ticking, but Yuvraj didn’t last too long, gone for 9 to Odoyo. Laxman departed soon after for 79 as he was stumped by a Steve Tikolo off break and India’s chances of a menacing score were slipping rapidly.

Enter the ever reliable duo of Mohammad Kaif and ICC Cricketer of the Year, Rahul Dravid. The reliable pair picked up the singles and converted one’s into two’s and put the bad balls away for four, which put enormous pressure on the Kenyan’s. Mohammad Kaif was outstanding as he played the finishing role to perfection.

The final partnership between Kaif and Dravid was of a rapid 77 runs as Kaif finished up on 49* off just 29 balls and Dravid finishing the innings on 30* of 16 balls as India skyrocketed themselves to a total of 4/290 off their allocated 50 overs.

Chasing a massive score of 290, Kenya were never in the match from early on, as Kennedy Obuya (0) was run out due to a brilliant direct hit by Mohammad Kaif. Irfan Pathan then struck for India as he had Steve Tikolo trapped plumb in front for 2 as Kenya were struggling with the score at 2/13.

Pathan had his second victim as Hitesh Modi skyed a ball in the air which landed directly in Sourav Ganguly’s hands. Stylish Kenyan batsman, Ravindu Shah offered some resistance to the Indian bowlers as he punished anything loose by Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra.

Harbhajan Singh was brought into the attack and the results were immediate for the Punjab off spinner. Harbhajan who’s bowling form has been golden as of late had the talented Ravindu Shah caught by Dinesh Karthik for 33. Harbhajan then struck again as he had Aga (0) and then Odoyo (15) both dismissed.

Patel and Ouma then reconsolidated, but Kenya fell short and were quite evidently outclassed by a superior Indian side as Ouma fell for 49 off Ajit Agarkar as India won by 98 runs.

Brief Score Summary:

India: 4/260 (Ganguly 90, Laxman 79, Kaif 49*, Odoyo 2/43, Martin Suji 1/42)

Kenya: 7/192 (Ouma 49, Patel 40*, Shah 33, Harbhajan 3/33, Pathan 2/11)

India Won By 98 Runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match: Sourav Ganguly (Ind)

Posted by Sangrah