UAE v Kenya, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 1st day February 4, 2008

Odoyo comes to Kenya's rescue

Cricinfo staff

Kenya 255 for 6 (Odoyo 79*) v UAE

Thomas Odoyo on his way to an unbeaten 79 © AFP
Thomas Odoyo underlined why he was named the ICC Associate Player of the Year in 2007 as his unbeaten 79 helped Kenya recover from 126 for 5 to close the first day of their Intercontinental Cup tie against UAE in Sharjah on 255 for 6.

Stev Tikolo, whose decision to stick Namibia in last week went badly awry, batted first on a good pitch but Kenya's top-order problems returned and both openers fell cheaply. Tikolo and the impressive Alex Obanda then put on an untroubled 76 for the second wicket before a middle-order collapse.

Tikolo was the first to go for a breezy 63 and he was soon followed by Tony Suji, whose failures are so regular that questions have to be asked of the selectors. Obanda departed for 39 in the next over and Kenya had lost three wickets for eight runs.

But Odoyo, a doubtful starter for the game after sustaining a foot injury against Namibia, and Jimmy Kamande restored order with a sixth-wicket stand of 121 in almost three hours. Kamande was dismissed shortly before the close for 43, but with Odoyo still there, the day belonged to Kenya.