Patel and Obanda seal Kenya win
Kenya 221 for 4 (Patel 92, Obanda 61) beat Netherlands 219 for 9 (ten Doeschate 109*, Otieno 3-39) by six wickets
Kenya sealed an easy six-wicket victory in the first one-day international at the Nairobi Gymkhana after Netherlands struggled to 219 for 9 in the alien conditions, their score thanks largely to an unbeaten 109 from Ryan ten Doeschate. After the loss of both openers within the first eight overs, ten Doeschate held the innings together, with no other batsman making more than Bas Zuiderent's 21 and only the top four reaching double figures. Rakep Patel and Alex Obanda powered Kenya's chase, adding 126 for the second wicket to seal a cathartic victory for the Kenyans after their poor showing at the World Twenty20 Qualifiers.
After Netherlands were put in to bat, Alexei Kervezee and Eric Szwarczynski both fell in Elijah Otieno's impressive opening spell. Zuiderent added a cautious 43 in just over 15 overs with ten Doeschate before he was run out 21 by Jimmy Kamande, and Kenya's spinners then strangled the middle order. Hiren Varaiya and Shem Obodo conceded just 62 in a combined 19 overs, as well as picking up the wickets of Tom de Grooth and Peter Borren.
Tim Gruijters, an 18-year-old in his first match in the senior side, was run out by Collins Obuya before Otieno returned to pick up his third wicket - that of Mudassar Bukhari for 6 as Netherlands slipped to 142 for 7. Then followed the highest partnership of the match, with ten Doeschate adding a rapid 46 in under five overs in Atse Buurman's company.
The only Dutch batsman to come to terms with the conditions, ten Doeschate's 37 runs dominated his partnership with Buurman in the closing overs. Nelson and Nehemiah Odhiambo picked up a wicket apiece before he reached a well-deserved hundred and set up a score that, in a Kenyan side lacking the experienced pair of Thomas Odoyo and Steve Tikolo - who is playing domestic cricket in Zimbabwe - appeared defendable.
In the event, it proved woefully under-par as Kenya romped to victory with more than 15 overs to spare. Patel and Obanda, two young batsmen who will have an important role to play in Kenya's cricketing future, were the chief architects of the run chase. Patel started slowly, the lesser partner in a 52-run opening stand with David Obuya, but grew in confidence as the innings progressed and Obanda's dashing strokeplay took the pressure off him while Netherlands' bowlers wilted in the heat.
Obanda - who smashed 79 in Kenya's recent win over Canada at the Qualifiers - took a couple of overs to play himself in before launching a brutal assault on the bowling. He reached his half-century from only 51 balls, with five boundaries, and smashed another six and a four before he was bowled by ten Doeschate for 61.
Patel continued in the company of captain Maurice Ouma, taking the score past 200 in the 33rd over as Kenya closed in on the win. But with a maiden century in sight, Patel advanced down the wicket to Peter Seelaar's left-arm spin and was stumped by Buurman for 92. Collins Obuya was also out soon after, caught behind off Mark Jonkman, but Kamande sealed the game with a six in the same over to give Kenya a one-nil lead in the two-match series.