World Cricket League round-up January 31, 2007

Kenya cruise to second victory

Cricinfo staff in Nairobi



Daan van Bunge is squared-up by Thomas Odoyo © Cricinfo Ltd
After both sides had walked to victory in their opening games, today's encounter between Kenya and Netherlands at Nairobi Gymkhana ought to have been all the more intriguing. That Kenya eased past them without so much as breaking sweat ought to issue the strongest possible warning yet: Kenya are not only the firm favourites in this tournament, but the classiest of all six sides.

Heavy overnight rain in Nairobi transformed yesterday's straw-coloured track into a greenish carpet, and Kenya had no hesitation in bowling first. Their attack showed excellent rhythm and form in the opening match against Bermuda and today they bettered it with a skilful and incisive effort - against a much tougher batting side, too. In truth, it was a very important toss to win - the overcast, humid conditions were more Headingley than Nairobi - but Thomas Odoyo and Peter Ongondo resisted the temptation to experiment with their lines, instead bowling in the channel. Netherlands just couldn't cope.

Both openers fell to Odoyo, bowling a beautiful length and extracting no shortage of movement through the air and off the pitch, leaving Ryan ten Doeschate to glue the innings back together. But he too fell cheaply, to a brilliant catch by David Obuya at third man who, diving forward, took it inches above the grass. ten Doeschate is Netherland's batting lynchpin and, if he fails, so does the team.

Daan van Bunge batted stickily but cautiously and correctly staying back in his crease to cope with the swinging ball. His team-mates weren't so adept, though, and Kenya's support bowlers built on Ongondo and Odoyo's opening burst with regular breakthroughs. Billy Stelling (24) and Jeroen Smits - the wicketkeeper, batting at No.10 - were the only others to show the necessary application and defensive technique.

The midday sun burnt away any moisture in the pitch by the time Netherlands got hold of the ball, and Kenya's batsmen were quickly into their stride. Maurice Ouma continued his fine form with a slick, trouble-free 47 before Tim de Leede trapped him lbw. He and Obuya had put on 88 easy runs in 20 overs and the game was Kenya's for the taking. Obuya was trapped on the crease, too, before Steve Tikolo muscled boundaries down the ground. And although Ravi Shah, donning just his cap, rather wasted his wicket, Kenya were all but safe.

William Porterfield struck an unbeaten 112 as Ireland squeezed past Bermuda by four wickets with eight balls to spare at the Jaffery Sports Club. However, it wasn't until the late intervention of Trent Johnston, Ireland's captain, who struck two sixes in a four-ball 13 that Ireland were home.



Scotland's Craig Wright celebrates removing Canada's Qaiser Ali © Cricinfo Ltd
Bermuda, hammered by 10 wickets in their opening game, put up a real fight as their top order carried them to 275 for 8. Clay Smith and Dean Minors opened with 79 for the first wicket and Minors' second half-century of the tournament built a solid base of 159 for 1. Lionel Cann and David Hemp swung hard towards the end of the innings and the target was a real test.

Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien added 88 for the fourth wicket and at 223 for 3 the result appeared in the bag, but Dwayne Leverock grabbed two wickets during a economical spell to set up a close finish. In the end, Ireland had enough in the tank and Bermuda were left to rue another high tally of extras after conceding 25 wides.

Scotland held on for a seven-run win against Canada after Dougie Brown conceded just four off the final over. Brown had earlier been central to Scotland's impressive 276 for 4 as he and Gavin Hamilton added 97 for the fifth wicket. Brown's 48 took just 27 balls after a solid base had been laid by Frazer Watts's 70, who combined in an opening stand of 66 with Majid Haq.

Canada's reply got off to a controversial start when the non-striker, Abdool Samad, collided with the bowler, Paul Hoffmann, as they crossed for John Davison's first single of the innings. Hoffmann, who appeared to drop his shoulder at the point of contact, was fined 50% of his match fee and Samad required several minutes' treatment before taking revenge with a big six over deep square-leg.