Bangladesh do enough in thriller

Bangladesh have clinched the ODI series against Kenya with a two wicket win in the second match. Syed Rasel and Mashrafe Mortaza starred for the victors, with Rasel grabbing a four wicket haul and Mortaza taking three and scoring crucial runs in a match that bowlers dominated from start to finish. Thomas Odoyo was the real hero of the match however, managing to almost snatch victory for the home side from the most unlikely circumstances.

Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo won the toss and elected to bat, but soon regretted it as his side fell apart in spectacular fashion. Syed Rasel and Mushrafe Mortaza ripped through the top order at incredible pace, and the Kenyans found themselves 6 down before the 15th over ended. Rasel grabbed Otieno in his 2nd over, and then three more wickets in his 4th, 5th and 6th overs after a brief Kenyan recovery. Mortaza meanwhile grabbed the crucial wicket of Tikolo with a fortunate umpiring call, and removed Modi soon after. In all, Kenya lost five wickets in six overs for just 12 runs.

From the position of 45-6 afer 14 overs, any sort of respectable total would take a huge effort, and it was Thomas Odoyo who provided it. Odoyo is perhaps the best ever Kenyan player after Steve Tikolo, and comfortably the best bowler the country has produced. However, it was with the bat that he had his first impact today, as he made 84 of the 139 runs Kenya scored after he came to the crease. He got little support aside from resolute defence at the other end, and took the scoring burden on alone, striking seven fours and four sixes in his 97 ball innings.

By the time Odoyo fell as the final wicket of the innings, Kenya had recovered a defendable total of 184. While Syed Rasel bowled out his 10 overs for 4-22 on the trot early in the innings, Mortaza suffered at the hands of the Kenyan fightback and conceded more than a run a ball for his three wickets.

The Bangladesh reply began in more assured fashion than the Kenyan innings, but Rajin Saleh still fell early. Until Thomas Odoyo returned for his second spell, the tourists looked solid enough, but that changed in quick time. Odoyo grabbed three wickets in the space of a four over spell, and turned the game into a true contest through the middle overs.

With Bangladesh needing a further 100 runs from the final five wickets, ‘keeper Khaled Mashud dug in with Aftab Ahmed and looked to grind the runs out. He did a good job in staying with the dangerous Aftab, but it was the top order batsman who cracked first, striking a pull straight to Steve Tikolo on 38. Tikolo went in for the kill and brought Odoyo back, and the strike bowler delivered with his fourth wicket, trapping Mohammad Rafique in front for a duck. The home side continued to take wickets at crucial moments and took firm control of the game when Khaled Mashud fell as the 8th wicket with 51 still needed.

At 8-134 with 12 overs to go the Kenyans looked favourites, but Mashrafe Mortaza stepped up for his second crucial contribution of the game. While number 10 Abdur Razzak hung on grimly at the other end, Mortaza played with the assurance of a top order batsman, striking six boundaries in a chanceless 43 and guiding the team home. With Odoyo having completed his 10, Tikolo was simply bereft of options to take the last two wickets, and Mortaza was cool under pressure and gave no chances.

The series has one game remaining for the Kenyans to salvage some pride, while Bangladesh will be looking to emphasise the gap between themselves and the strongest of the non-test playing minnow nation with a series whitewash.

Kenya 184 (46.3)
Thomas Odoyo 84 (97), Maurice Ouma 26 (31)
Syed Rasel 4-22 (10), Mashrafe Mortaza 3-53 (9)

Bangladesh win by 2 wickets.
Bangladesh lead the 3 ODI series 2-0.

Bangladesh 185-8 (46)
Mashrafe Mortaza 43 (53), Aftab Ahmed 38 (68)
Thomas Odoyo 4-36 (10), Nehemiah Odhiambo 2-52 (10)

CricketWeb Man of the Match
Thomas Odoyo
84 (97) & 4-36 (10)

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