Tikolo fireworks level series

Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo cracked 98 from just 83 balls as his side eased to a 79-run win in the second ODI at Bulawayo’s Queens Club.

Following yesterday’s easy win for the host nation, the Kenyans had a point to prove, and from the moment Tikolo reached the crease – the score at 24 for two following the early fall of Maurice Ouma and Kennedy Otieno – he took his toll of the home bowling.

The batsman hit almost two-thirds of the 149 that were added whilst he was in the middle, with first Tony Suji and then Thomas Odoyo playing supporting roles. Only Ryan Higgins, playing his first ODI following a successful Under-19 World Cup, was able to exert any control – and it was the leg-spinner who finally removed Tikolo, courtesy of a return catch.

Even with the captain gone, 19-year-old Tanmay Mishra – in only his second ODI – showed little stage fright in continuing his side’s onslaught. He made 46 before becoming one of Anthony Ireland’s three victims and alongside Jimmy Kamande, who bludgeoned 32 from just 20 balls, helped Kenya to an imposing 284 for seven.

Odoyo then struck early in the Zimbabwean reply, dismissing both captain Terry Duffin and Hamilton Masakadza, before Peter Ongondo got to work on the middle order. Brendon Taylor, Piete Rinke – who had hit seven fours in his 54 – and Greg Strydom all fell to the medium pacer, leaving the job of shepherding the lower order to Keegan Meth.

Whilst the allrounder, playing his first ODI innings, did a creditable job, the mountain of the Kenyan total was far too high to climb. Meth was last out, caught by Ouma off the left-arm spin of batsman-cum-bowler Brijal Patel, with the score on 205.

The two teams now travel to Harare for the final three matches of the series, the next taking place on Wednesday, with everything to play for.

Kenya 284-7
Steve Tikolo 98, Tanmay Mishra 46
Anthony Ireland 3-46, Ryan Higgins 2-46

Zimbabwe 205
Piet Rinke 54, Keegan Meth 53
Peter Ongondo 3-26, Brijal Patel 2-20

Kenya won by 79 runs

Cricket Web Player of the Match
Steve Tikolo (Kenya) – 98 and 1-17

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