Canada v Kenya, Maple Leaf CC, 3rd day August 1, 2006

All eyes on Tikolo

Cricinfo staff

Kenya 231 and 45 for 2 need another 246 runs to beat Canada 235 and 286 (Barnett 136, Bagai 57, Odhiambo 5-45, Varaiya 3-27)

Geoff Barnett hits out on his way to 136 © ICC
Steve Tikolo, who has dominated Kenyan cricket for more than a decade, will be the key figure on the final day of Kenya's Intercontinental Cup tie with Canada at Maple Leaf Cricket Club. At the close of the third day, Kenya were 45 for 2 in pursuit of 291. Crucially, Tikolo is still at the crease.

After two days which had ended with the side's all square, it was Geoff Barnett's 136 which gave Canada the edge under sunny skies and in humid conditions. His innings included three mighty drives for six and a number of flowing strokes around the ground. He had featured in an opening stand of 46 with skipper John Davison at the end of day 2. He then was involved in stands of 86 with Stewart Heaney, who made 12, for the third wicket and 112 for the fourth wicket with wicketkeeper Ashish Bagai, who played well for his 57.

Sadly, from a Canadian perspective, the latter batsmen failed to capitalise on these major stands, and the score went from a dominant 260 for 3 to 286 all out. Roger Harper, Kenya's coach, paid tribute to Nehemiah Odhiambo who spearheaded the Kenyan fightback. Andy Pick, Canada's coach, pointed to the "ebb and flow of this game".

Barnett, who has first-class experience in New Zealand, said he "had hoped to bat all day. I was probably disappointed to be out." Pick agreed that Barnett had played "beautifully" adding that the game had been a good adverisement for Associate-Level cricket.

Kenya lost two early wickets to pace bowler Umar Bhatti. There was a confident appeal for a stumping against Tikolo off the bowling of John Davison, but this was turned down.

The final day's play begins at 10.30am at the Maple Leaf CC. The ground has been very nicely prepared for this event. Coach Andy Pick noted that, so far, "there is movement when the ball is new but nothing once the ball loses it's shine."

It will be interesting to see if the ball starts to turn on the last day or if Tikolo can produce a masterful innings.