Lee brothers star as Australia dispose of fourteen-man Kenya
Not even a fourteen-man Kenyan batting lineup could prevent Australia cruising to an easy victory in their warmup match for the ICC KnockOut in Nairobi yesterday. The Lee brothers, Brett and Shane, were the stars of the day for the current World Cup champions.
Australia defeated Kenya by 93 runs in a match intended as practice for both sides before the second biennial ICC KnockOut tournament gets under way on Tuesday.
Despite their new-found status as a full one-day international nation, Kenya were allowed the opportunity by opposing captain Steve Waugh of giving their full fourteen-man squad a workout in yesterday's game at the Simba Union ground. For Australia, Glenn McGrath, Michael Bevan and Ian Harvey, all recently completed the rigours of an English county season, were rested, New South Wales all-rounder Mark Higgs taking to the playing field in Australian colours for the first time.
Australia batted first at the end of their fifty overs were 8/246. Both opening batsmen, Mark Waugh (5) and Adam Gilchrist (7), were back in the pavilion with just 24 runs on the board, both falling victim to the bowling of Thomas Odoyo. Ricky Ponting made 26, but received a nasty blow on the hand from a sharply lifting delivery before batting on. Ponting had his hand in ice after his innings but is expected to be fit for Australia's next game.
Steve Waugh made 72 from 74 deliveries before retiring, while Shane Lee top scored with an unbeaten 77. Tony Suji (3/33 from seven overs) was the most successful of the eight Kenyan bowlers used by captain Maurice Odumbe.
For Kenya the pursuit of 247 runs for victory was always going to be daunting. Australian speedster Brett Lee, bowling on a slow Simba Union surface, made things more difficult by dismissing Ravindu Shah and Jimmy Kamande in his opening over without scoring.
Despite all fourteen Kenyan squad members receiving the opportunity to bat, only Steve Tikolo (35) surpassed twenty, the home side being bundled out for 153 in 43.2 overs. Brett Lee (5/22 from seven overs) took five of the thirteen Kenyan wickets to fall, with South Australians Jason Gillespie (3/25 from nine) and Brad Young (3/36 from ten) claiming three apiece. Mark Higgs claimed 2/27 from 7.2 overs after scoring 17 earlier in the day. Andrew Symonds had an outstanding day in the field, taking two fine diving catches to remove Hitesh Modi and Mohammad Sheikh.
Kenya, who were also defeated by Bangladesh in a warmup match at Mombasa on Thursday, will open the ICC KnockOut at the Gymkhana Ground on Tuesday when they face India. Australia have one more warmup game, against England also on Tuesday. Should Kenya upset the Indians (as they did at Gwalior in 1998), they will come up against the Australians again on October 7.