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August 13, 2006
Bangladesh 185 for 8 (Mortaza 43*, Odoyo 4-36) beat Kenya 184 (Odoyo 84, Rasel 4-22) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Mashrafe Mortaza held his nerve to steer Bangladesh to a frenetic two-wicket win, and with it the series, in the second one-day international at Nairobi. Bangladesh looked down and out after Kenya's merry band of slow medium pacers, led by Thomas Odoyo , struck telling blows to leave them up the creek in pursuit of a meager total, but Mortaza's unbeaten 43 in a ninth-wicket stand of 51 sealed the deal in incredible style. Kenya, riding on Odoyo's career-best 84, had themselves done well to recover from Syed Rasel's four-wicket burst but ultimately a target of 185 proved too little for Bangladesh.
Joined by Abdur Razzak at the exit of Khaled Mashud in the 38th over, with Bangladesh on 134 for 8, Mortaza played an innings of tremendous courage under fire. He farmed the strike much like Odoyo did with the Kenyan tail, used the long handle to fine effect - he found the ropes off consecutive balls during the 44th over - and even gave Razzak an earful when one too many a needless shot was played. Collins Obuya began the 47th over with a tossed-up no ball, Mortaza smashed it with ease through the covers and the game ended in something of an anti-climax for the expectant Kenyan supporters. But for Bangladesh, Mortaza's personal best was paramount in them bouncing back from a series loss to Zimbabwe.
At one point, though, Bangladesh looked far from victory. Peter Ongondo gave Kenya the start they needed when he forced Rajin Saleh to cut to a juggling Collins Obuya at backward point in the sixth over. Nehemiah Odhiambo was all over the place with his medium pacers and gave up seven extras in his opening spell but accounted for Shahriar Nafees who, given the width, drove to an airborn Obuya at gully this time.
After rescuing Kenya from the dolls with the bat, Odoyo then resumed duties with the ball. Saqibul Hossain was the third wicket to fall when he played away from his body and Kennedy Otieno held a fine in front of where first slip would have been. Enter Mohammad Ashraful, who slapped his first ball back past the bowler and mid-off for four and then chased a wide delivery only to see Otieno take an even better blinder in front of that vacant first slip gap. His magic continued, thanks to an amazing catch by Tanmay Mishra. Ferhad Reza, given a reprieve when he edged Josephat Ababu just wide of Otieno, was afforded no further escapes as he slammed one into the covers and Mishra held it one-handed, inches off the ground.
Aftab Ahmed unleashed the drive of the day - a firm push between the cover fielders for four - to announce his arrival but had to withdraw into a shell after the early wickets. He did manage a six off Ababu in the 24th over but on 38 he pulled Odhiambo to Steve Tikolo at square leg. Mashud, meanwhile, took 19 deliveries to get off the mark and looked on as Odoyo returned to nail Mohammad Rafique leg before in the 32nd over. He eventually hooked Ababu high to Hitesh Modi at long leg and it came down to Mashrafe Mortaza and Abdul Razzak to see Bangladesh home. While Razzak left Bangladesh's fans with their hearts in their mouths, Mortaza played some fine shots and was the difference between victory and defeat.
Earlier, a fiery opening burst from Rasel - and a poor decision against Tikolo - never allowed the Kenyan innings to take flight. Rasel bowled out his spell (10-1-22-4) on the trot and stifled the Kenyan batsmen from the word go. The out-of-form Otieno went leg before in the third over, Jimmy Kamande edged to Mashud in the tenth, and Maurice Ouma and Obuya were each forced into loose shots soon after.
Clearly feeling left out of the party, Mortaza struck in his first over, the 12th of the innings, with some help from umpire Subhash Modi who unfortunately adjudged Tikolo leg before despite evidence of a thick edge onto the pads. Tikolo played forward to a ball that came in and looked up in surprise to see the throaty appeal from bowler and fielders upheld. Mortaza then removed Modi with a beauty that caught the batsman clueless and dead in front of the stumps as Kenya slipped to 42 for 5.
Thanks to Odoyo, who proved that if you stick around long enough runs will come, Kenya rallied to get across the 100-run mark and beyond. Odoyo refrained from any injudicious shots, saw off the medium pacers and the very impressive Razzak, and then went ballistic at the end of the innings. He marshaled the tail well - his ability to steal a single at the end of the over was paramount - and opened his arms with two slogged sixes off Rafique, and dingers three and four off Mortaza and Saqibul at the death. His 58-run stand for the ninth wicket with Ondongo (13) was the highest of the Kenyan innings by far.
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