Botha stars in Ireland win
Ireland 148 for 9 (Cusack 35) beat Kenya 115 (Kamande 33, Botha 4-19) by 33 runs
Kenya's miserable tour of Britain continued on Sunday with a 33-run defeat by Ireland in the first of three ODIs. Though their bowlers did well to limit Ireland to 148 for 9, their batsmen again found the going tough. Andre Botha took 4 for 19 from 7.5 overs, helping to dismiss Kenya for a lowly 115.
Ignoring their warm-up wins against the likes of Devon and Minor Counties, in seven matches (three others were rained off), Kenya have won just two games, one of which was a Twenty20. Though they are still considered the leading Associate nation, the rapid progression of Ireland and Scotland - not to mention Netherlands and Namibia - have caught Kenya on the hop. Only a spirited turnaround in the next two matches will spare their blushes, yet even this seems a summit too far.
They were never in a position to chase 149. Kennedy Otieno and Alex Obanda put on 18 for the opening wicket before Otieno was dismissed by Boyd Rankin, Ireland's towering fast bowler. Once Rakep Patel was run out by the Ireland captain, William Porterfield, Rankin soon had Obanda caught. When Steve Tikolo became Botha's first wicket, trapped in front for a duck, the heartbeat of Kenya's lineup began to flatline at 51 for 4.
Maurice Ouma (25 from 47) and Jimmy Kamande (33 from 87) gave Kenya hope of an upset, but Botha and Kyle McCallan bowled naggingly straight and never let them get away. Kenya slipped for the final time, losing their last three wickets without a run, as Alex Cusack took a fine tumbling catch at mid-off to dismiss Peter Ongondo and hand Ireland a convincing win.
However, like the tourists, Ireland too struggled with the bat, limping along at 54 for 4. But, unlike Kenya, they had a clutch of 20s from Botha (22), Andrew White (25) and Andrew Poynter (23) which boosted their total to something vaguely challenging. Cusack struck three fours in his side's top score of 35, and though Kenya would have fancied their chances of chasing 149, they hadn't counted on the accuracy of Botha.