New Zealand decimate Kenya by nine wickets
After the run-fest at the Wanderers on Tuesday night, it was back to normalcy and worse for Kenya at Kingsmead. New Zealand may have enjoyed a lengthy off-season and gone through a change at the top, with Daniel Vettori taking over from Stephen Fleming, but out on the pitch, it was very much normal service as the World Cup semi-finalists romped to a nine-wicket win after bowling Kenya out for the lowest-ever score in Twenty20 internationals, 73.
Shane Bond, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin and Vettori exploited the extra bounce on a well-grassed pitch to bowl the hapless Kenyans out with 19 balls remaining of the 20 overs, and it took New Zealand just 7.4 overs to announce their intent. But for a 36-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Thomas Odoyo and Collins Obuya, it might have been immeasurably worse. A late flourish from Rajesh Bhudia and Jimmy Kamande nudged the total further towards respectability, but it was never going to stretch a powerful New Zealand line-up.
Predictably, it was Bond's pace that started the slide, with a ball darting back into Maurice Ouma and crashing into the stumps via the elbow. When the promising Tanmay Mishra then slashed one to point, it brought the captain, Steve Tikolo, to the crease.
But worse was to follow as Gillespie took over. David Obuya went gingerly back to the first ball, and ended up treading on his stumps, and four balls later came the biggest blow as Tikolo was trapped plumb in front by a delivery that swung in at pace.
Odoyo and Obuya revived matters somewhat, taking Jacob Oram for two fours in an over when he came on, but New Zealand had too much in reserve. Chris Martin had Odoyo miscuing a pull to mid-off, and Nehemiah Odhiambo followed in identical fashion before Vettori decided to get in on the act.
Obuya was smartly stumped off a leg-side wide, and Alex Obanda bowled off the pad, and after Budhia slammed a six to slightly tarnish Martin's figures, two full tosses from Gillespie finished things off.
Kenya needed early wickets, but after two vociferous appeals from Odoyo were turned down, Lou Vincent and Brendan McCullum made short work of a miniscule target. Vincent crashed four fours and a six in his 27 before smashing one low to mid-off, and after Peter Fulton survived an excellent shout from Peter Ongondo, two huge sixes off Bhudia put the seal on an emphatic display.
Bond's figures of 2 for 12 were the best for a completed spell in a Twenty20 game, but Gillespie's 4 for 7 fetched him man of the match honours. And the four zeroes at the top of the Kenyan order were an ominous sign as Vettori's team illustrated just why the All Blacks aren't the only team in with a chance of a world title in the not-too-distant future.
Dileep Premachandran is associate editor of Cricinfo