Afghanistan v Kenya, Intercontinental Cup, 1st day October 6, 2013

Kenya edge ahead on 16-wicket day

ESPNcricinfo staff

Afghanistan 69 for 6 (Rahmat 24*, Aga 3-12) trail Kenya 162 (NN Odhiambo 35, Ahmadzai 2-23) by 93 runs

Kenya's dismal batting form continued in their Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan, as they were dismissed for 162 on a day in which 16 wickets tumbled in Dubai. At the close of play, however, Kenya had managed to fight back, reducing Afghanistan to a 69 for 6.

Playing without some of their regulars, like captain Mohammad Nabi, Shapoor Zadran and Nawroz Mangal, Afghanistan won the toss and put Kenya in to bat. The Kenyan top order failed once again and at 84 for 8, they looked in danger of being dismissed for a score of less than 100 for the fourth successive time, across formats. The lower order, however, resisted and led by Hiren Varaiya, the ninth and tenth-wicket stands contributed 78 runs.

Medium-pacers Izatullah Dawlatzai, Sayed Shirzad and Yamin Ahmadzai took two wickets apiece and triggered the top-order collapse. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nasim Baras also took two wickets towards the end of the Kenya innings.

Afghanistan hardly fared better in their reply. The opening pair of Javed Ahmadi and Fazal Niazai added a cautious 26 runs before Ahmadi was caught behind off Nelson Odhiambo's bowling. That was to be the best partnership for Afghanistan on the day, as the Kenya attack, and fast bowler Ragheb Aga in particular, struck regularly to reduce them to 63 for 6. Aga finished the day with figures of 6-3-12-3. Rahmat Shah was the only batsman to hold steady and will be expected to guide the lower order as Afghanistan look to wipe out a deficit of 93 runs.