Record-breaking O'Brien leaves Kenya floundering
Kenya 62 for 3 (Tikolo 24*) trail Ireland 578 for 4 dec (N O'Brien 135, K O'Brien 171*, Botha 109, White 92*) by 516 runs
Ireland are in a dominant position after two days of their must-win Intercontinental Cup clash against Kenya. Kevin O'Brien crashed a superb 171 as Ireland compiled a massive 578 for 4, before reducing Kenya to a slippery 62 for 3. Kevin cracked a remarkable 12 sixes, the most by an Ireland batsman in one innings.
Kenya managed three wickets yesterday, when Niall O'Brien cracked 135, but today they could only muster one. Niall's younger brother Kevin, along with Andrew White, put on a record fifth-wicket partnership of 214, beating the 175 that Alec O'Riordan and Jim Harrison put on against Denmark at Dublin in June 1973. In doing so, they have put Ireland in a very strong position to reach the final.
If Andre Botha's departure for 109 was cause for Kenyan optimism, it was short lived. White and O'Brien piled on the runs, with O'Brien reaching his maiden first-class century. The pair remained unbeaten, with White not out on 92, when William Porterfield finally ended Kenya's misery in the field on 578 for 4.
Boyd Rankin broke through almost immediately, removing Alex Obanda for 7, as Ireland took advantage of a tired Kenya side. Seren Waters, the gifted 18-year-old batsman, immediately looked assured on his debut, stroking three fours, but was trapped in front by the economical Peter Connell for 18. Likewise, Rakep Patel fell lbw to Kyle McCallan's offspinners. Once again, Kenya's stalwart, Steve Tikolo, has it all to do if Kenya are to avoid defeat. At stumps, they trail by 516 runs.