Kenya v India A, Tri-series, Nairobi August 13, 2004

Kenya triumph despite Powar blitz

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Kenya 231 for 8 (Modi 67) beat India A 211 (Powar 80*, Sriram 50, Aga 4-18) by 20 runs

Kenya continued their impressive run, beating India A by 20 runs to register their second win in the triangular tournament in Nairobi - they had earlier beaten Pakistan A by two runs.

After being put in to bat, Kenya managed a competitive 231 for 8, largely thanks to Hitesh Modi's 67, and useful contributions from the lower order. When the Indians slumped to 110 for 6, a huge defeat was on the cards, but Ramesh Powar almost pulled off an improbable win, smashing an unbeaten 80 off just 58 balls. There was little support for him from the rest of the tail, though, allowing Kenya to sail through to a well-deserved win.

As in their previous match, Kenya got off to a poor start, losing both openers with only 21 on the board. Modi and Steve Tikolo (38) then put together 70 to resurrect the innings. However, the Indian spinners choked the runs in the middle overs, and Sridharan Sriram finished with 3 for 43 as Kenya only managed a modest total.

India A would have fancied their chances at the halfway stage, but things went awry early in their run-chase, as Martin Suji and Thomas Odoyo nailed the first four wickets with only 52 on the board. Sriram stitched together a half-century, but the Indians were sinking towards a humiliating defeat when Powar came. He added 62 for the seventh wicket with Sairaj Bahutule, whose contribution was only 11.

Bahutule was dismissed by Ragheb Aga, but Powar continued the big hitting, tonking Maurice Odumbe for a huge six which landed on top of the clubhouse. With wickets falling at the other end, though, Powar was ultimately left without a partner. Aga cleaned up the tail to finish with 4 for 18, leaving Sandeep Patil, the India A coach, to reflect on defeat by a side he had coached till the 2003 World Cup.

With two wins in as many games, Kenya are the early front-runners in the tournament. However, given the format of the competition - each team plays the other two twice, with the top two then reaching the finals - both India A and Pakistan A still have a chance to upstage the Kenyans.