Afghanistan slide to massive defeat
Kenya 180 (Tikolo 57, Kamande 31, Hassan 4-26, Ashraf 4-35) beat Afghanistan 88 (Zadran 41, Odhiambo 3-16) by 92 runs
Just days after humbling Kenya in an Intercontinental Cup fixture in Nairobi, Afghanistan were at the receiving end of a thrashing themselves, sliding to a 92-run defeat against the same opponents in the first of three ODIs in Nairobi. It was a low-scoring contest with both batting line-ups collapsing after promising starts to their innings.
Kenya chose to bat and openers Seren Waters and David Obuya were involved in a steady stand of 55. David's brother Collins and Steve Tikolo, Kenya's most experienced player, consolidated the innings after the openers were dismissed, taking them to a healthy 139 for 2 in the 35th over. Tikolo eased to a half-century, his 23rd in ODIs, and the situation looked promising for the hosts but their batting then fell apart.
Mirwais Ashraf, the medium-pacer, triggered the slide, bowling Tikolo and accounting for Collins Obuya and Maurice Ouma in a space of two overs. Legspinning allrounder Samiullah Shenwari strangled the innings from the other end with a couple of wickets, including Thomas Odoyo, who, like Tikolo, has been a part of the Kenyan set-up since the 1996 World Cup. From 139 for 2, Kenya slid to 145 for 8. It was captain Jimmy Kamande who rose to the occasion, resisting with the lower order to make 31 and inducing some respectability to the score, extending it to 180.
As it turned out, Kenya had made enough well before the collapse ensued as Afghanistan's batting flopped. Things appeared to be on track when the openers had added 33 but their start set a deceptive tone for the innings. Once Karim Sadiq was run out in the eighth over, the Kenya bowlers attacked ruthlessly to derail Afghanistan. Noor Ali Zadran, Sadiq's opening partner, was left stranded amid the relentless fall of wickets at the other end, as none of the other batsmen who followed Sadiq reached double-figures.
Medium-pacer Nehemiah Odhiambo, who has five relatives involved in cricket in Kenya, grabbed three wickets, supported by offspinner James Ngoche and Odoyo, who picked up two each. Afghanistan folded for a humiliating 88 to trail 0-1 in the three-match series.