West Indies complete consolation win
Kenya were no match for West Indies. All thoughts of replicating their 1996 upset went out of the window as a strong West Indian bowling performance saw them bundled out for a mere 104 in pursuit of 247. With this 142-run victory, West Indies secured a consolation win, ending their World Cup campaign on 14 points.
Jermaine Lawson, playing his first game of this World Cup, worked up a good pace, hitting the 150 km/h mark from early on in his spell. The pace of Lawson was a bit too much for the Kenyan batsmen and they were constantly pushed back.
It was however, not Lawson who did the majority of the damage. Making good use of the pressure Lawson created, Vasbert Drakes cashed in. Bowling a steady line and length, varying his pace well, Drakes scalped his second five-wicket haul of the tournament, returning figures of 5/33. With this, Drakes' tally of wickets in this World Cup moved up to 16, making him the leading wicket-taker along with Chaminda Vaas.
Merv Dillon (1/31) and Lawson (2/16) too were among the wickets as Kenya failed to get a partnership going at any point.
The fall of wickets at regular intervals, coupled with the fact that the top score by a Kenyan batsman was just 24 ensured that the minnows were knocked out for 104.
Despite the loss, Kenya will be happy with their position. They go into the Super Sixes with 10 points in hand, having beaten Sri Lanka and New Zealand (forfeit) the other two qualifiers from Pool B.
Earlier in the day, West Indies put together 246/7, and should have really done better, but it appeared as though the men from the Caribbean already had their minds on the flight back home.
After a 122-run opening partnership with Gayle, Chanderpaul, the most impressive West Indies batsman on the day, became the first to be dismissed. His fall came when he top-edged leg-spinner Collins Obuya, after making 66 off just 72 balls; Joseph Angara completing the easy catch.
Brian Lara, who replaced Chanderpaul, continued to struggle yet again. After making an unconvincing 10 off 29 balls, the 'Prince on Trinidad' attempted to launch the 30th ball he faced for a six. But David Obuya completed a handsome catch near the boundary as the West Indies lost their second wicket with their score reading 158.
The man who replaced Lara at the crease, Marlon Samuels, playing his first match of the World Cup, had an early let-off when he got a leading edge that Obuya failed to cling onto. But he failed to capitalise on it, being dismissed for a 14-ball 17.
Ricardo Powell too fell cheaply, making just eight runs.
At the other end, Gayle had in the meantime managed to bring up a patient 100 off 143 balls, including seven fours. After that the well-built West Indies opener, opened out, clattering two huge sixes. But after making 119 off 151 balls, he holed out at deep cover in an attempt to hit another delivery clean out of the ground.
Carl Hooper, the West Indies skipper, was another of the West Indies batsmen destined to fail on the day, making just six before being stumped by Kennedy Otieno off a Joseph Angara delivery that he tried to run down to third man.
Wavell Hinds (10 off 9 balls) in the unlikely role of No. 7 and Ridley Jacobs (9 off 8) contributed a few useful runs towards the end, as their team ended their innings at 246/7. For Kenya, Martin Suji, who conceded just 38 runs in his 10 overs while claiming one wicket, was the most economical bowler.
The victory showed up the difference between the minnows and the genuine contenders in his World Cup. The Super Six stage is supposed to be a level harder than the preliminary matches. However, the fact that two teams forfeited matches means that the best six teams have not really progressed to the next stage. Without being too hard on Kenya, this will make for some very one-sided matches at a stage in the tournament where this really should not be the case.