Kenya snap up Lara
West Indies were two-time champions and three-time finalists, while Kenya's initiation into ODI cricket had only begun in the 1996 World Cup. Admittedly, the West Indies camp wasn't a picture of harmony, with rumblings about team unity as Richie Richardson approached the end of his tenure as captain. Nonetheless, almost nobody expected anything but a mismatch.
It appeared to be headed that way after West Indies put Kenya in and dismissed them for 166. Courtney Walsh got the top three, and Curtly Ambrose and Roger Harper took five wickets between them. West Indies wicketkeeper Jimmy Adams also equalled what was as the time the World Cup record of five dismissals. Steve Tikolo top-scored with 29 but the highest contribution to Kenya's score had come from extras - 37.
West Indies lost their openers early, but at 22 for 2, with Brian Lara batting, there was no cause for concern. The way Lara batted, however, was a cause for concern. After a crisp cover drive off the first ball he faced, he played like a man in a benefit match. Within half a dozen balls, Roland Holder, the 12th man, had scurried to the middle with a bottle of water and, presumably, a message for him to calm down. It went unheeded. He swished and missed twice more, and should have been run out.
His end, unsurprisingly, came quickly. Rajab Ali bowled a ball outside off stump with a hint of swing and Lara, facing his 11th ball, aimed a massively optimistic back-foot drive and got a thick edge to wicketkeeper Tariq Iqbal. Iqbal, described by the Guardian as "bearded and bespectacled, wearing a blue headband and a double chin", "had dropped the ball so many times before that his own bowlers were laughing at him". The Daily Telegraph said: "The ball sank somewhere into his nether regions and the gloves clutched desperately, trying to locate it. Then, glory be, it reappeared in his hands and was raised aloft in triumph and relief."
From there West Indies imploded, getting bowled out for 93, and being handed a humiliating 73-run defeat.