South Africa v Kenya, 2nd ODI, Kimberley November 2, 2008

Kallis and Amla too much for Kenya

Cricinfo staff

South Africa 224 for 3 (Kallis 92*, Amla 78) beat Kenya 222 for 9 (Waters 74, Morkel 3-47) by seven wickets

South Africa completed the formalities of a 2-0 series victory with a comfortable seven-wicket success in the second one-day international in Kimberley. Hashim Amla took his chance to impress with a 76-ball 78, and Jacques Kallis continued his return to form with an unbeaten 92, as South Africa eased to their target with nearly 15 overs to spare.

Kenya did produce a better effort with the bat as Seren Waters, the 18-year-old, made an eye-catching 74 to provide further evidence of his talent. For the home side this has been a good chance to shake off the early-season cobwebs and both victories have come without much fuss. It was a useful exercise for their bowlers to have first use in this match, allowing them to hone their skills ahead of the Bangladesh series.

After 4-0 defeat in England, South Africa were trying to re-establish their credentials as a top limited-overs unit. Two wins over Kenya don't prove anything, but time in the middle is always of greater value than net sessions. Kallis used both games to good effect after a barren England trip, following his 71 in the first match with a clam and efficient innings to carry South Africa home. He hurried the match to a conclusion by attacking Hiren Varaiya and finished the game with a six off a free hit.

Kallis said he had worked hard during the off season with former Western Province and England coach Duncan Fletcher. "It's nice that the hard work has paid off," he said. "You never stop learning in this game. The slight technical changes I have made have opened up a few new scoring options for me."

The run-chase platform had been laid by Amla, who was one of few bright spots during the loss to England after being handed a chance to open by Graeme Smith's injury. The captain's continued absence allowed him another chance and he cracked 13 boundaries, after taking 16 balls to get off the mark, as the Kenya bowlers continually fed his strengths of cutting and driving.

Herschelle Gibbs went early, smartly caught at midwicket by Waters, but Amla and Kallis added 118 in 17 overs. Amla reached his first ODI fifty off 47 balls and was on course for a maiden century when he was caught behind off the left-arm spin off Varaiya.

While Kenya cannot take many positives from their fielding effort, the performance of Waters, who was educated at Cranleigh school in England, gives them something to leave with. In his fourth ODI, Waters needed 105 balls to reach his half-century before hitting debutant Johann Louw for two fours and a six in the 35th over. Another boundary followed off Albie Morkel before he was beaten for pace and bowled for 74, but useful contributions from Thomas Odoyo and Jimmy Kamande ensured a respectable total.

Morkel finished with three wickets, including that of Steve Tikolo caught behind for duck, while Louw collected his first international scalp early on when Maurice Ouma edged to Mark Boucher. Louw was handed his chance with Morne Morkel being rested and it was a chance for South Africa to test their reserve strength. Smith and Dale Steyn are hoping to return against Bangladesh, another series that should allow South Africa to ease into their season before they head to Australia in December. That will be where the challenge really starts.