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The Kenyan spinners made light work of a young Uganda line-up in the opening fixture of the Kenya tri-series Twenty20 tournament at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi. The event, which also features Scotland is an important warm-up for the Twenty20 Qualifier, staged in Dubai and Abu Dubai, which starts next month.
Kenya were once one of the strongest Associate countries but have struggled in recent years and were beaten at home by Scotland in the Intercontinental Cup on January 28. Today they were comfortable winners as disciplined bowling by experienced offspinner James Kamande (2 for 18) and left-arm spinner Kiren Varaiya (2 for 9) choked the Ugandan middle order and restricted the total to123 for 9 from the twenty overs.
Roger Mukasa, the opening batsman, and captain Akbar Baig were the only batsmen to threaten some resistance, as Musaka stroked four boundaries from his 14 deliveries, before he fizzled out, trapped in front by Kamande for 23. Baig tried to steady things with a more patient 23 before he fell in the same way to the same bowler.
A glut of early wickets would have been the only way for Uganda to get themselves back into the game but it wasn't to be as veteran opener Steve Tikilo and David Obuya put on 66 for the first wicket. After Obuya fell for 23, Tikilo completed his 23rd one-day international fifty before falling for 63 from 44 deliveries.
Alex Obanda (31 not out) and captain Maurice Ouma (2 not out) saw the Kenyan's home and they will no doubt face a sterner challenge when they meet Scotland on February 1.
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Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.