Ireland v Kenya, final, Windhoek, 1st day October 27, 2005

Magnificent Tikolo shows his class

Ireland 37 for 1 trail Kenya 401 for 4 dec (Tikolo 177*, Modi 106, Otieno 72) by 364 runs

Steve Tikolo on his way to 177* © ICC
A superb hundred from Steve Tikolo - his second in three innings - put Kenya firmly in control at the end of the first day of the Intercontinental Cup final at the Wanderers Sports Club in Windhoek.

Tikolo, long regarded as the best batsman outside Test cricket, was in sublime form as Kenya cruised to 401 for 4 before declaring. On a pitch which offered little to the bowlers, neither side appears to possess the firepower to bowl the other out twice.

From the moment Tikolo won the toss and chose to bat, it was Kenya's day. They overcame the early run out of Maurice Ouma for 8, and even when Tony Suji, fresh from a hundred in the semi-finals, went for a laborious 11, Kenya looked untroubled. The morning was dominated by Kennedy Otieno, who hammered the ball to all parts, and the session ended with Ireland's captain Trent Johnston off the field with a broken finger. He returned, dosed up to the eyeballs with painkillers, bowled one expensive over, and disappeared again, this time for good. He will bat if necessary, but otherwise his match seems over.

Although Otieno fell soon after the break without adding to his 72, that only accelerated the scoring as Tikolo and Hitesh Modi smacked 267 for the fourth wicket before a tiring Modi finally went for 106. Ireland's bowlers lacked the accuracy or penetration to trouble either batsman and they played their shots with confidence and ease.

Kennedy Otieno hit a rapid 72 in the morning session © ICC
Tikolo continued the rampage until he called off the slaughter when Kenya passed 400. His unbeaten 177 added to his 220 in the semi-final against Bermuda. In between he picked up a first-ball duck.

Ireland were left with a nervous 50 minutes, and they lost Dominick Joyce lbw to Thomas Odoyo for 5 shortly before the close.

The bonus points system in the final - Kenya have eight to Ireland's two - means that Ireland will need to bat well - without losing wickets - to have a chance of winning the final. They have the batting to do it and Kenya's bowling is not their strongest discipline - but it's a tall order.

Bonus Points

Bonus points may be earned in both the first and second innings.

Batting Points
First Innings - 0.5 points for every 25 runs scored throughout the 90 overs
Second Innings - 0.5 points for every 25 runs scored throughout the innings to a maximum of 4 Points

Bowling Points
A maximum of 5 bowling points per innings to be awarded, 0.5 points at the fall of each wicket

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo