Fine batting performances by debutant Nazimuddin and Mohammad Ashraful followed an efficient display in the field as Bangladesh wrapped up a five-wicket win against Kenya in the second game of the Twenty20 Quadrangular tournament in Nairobi.
Ashraful's decision to put Kenya in to bat was justified as Kenya were restricted to 138 for 7, with Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza and Abdur Razzak picking two wickets apiece. Bangladesh, led by Nazimuddin's 43 and Ashraful's 20-ball 36, chased down the target with more than two overs to spare.
The target wasn't a daunting one, but Bangladesh lost Tamim Iqbal with only 22 on the board. Aftab Ahmed, coming in at No. 3, lasted only six balls but blasted two fours and a six, all off Lameck Onyango, who leaked 18 runs in his first over. Rajesh Bhudia came on in the sixth over, and was hit for two sixes - one over the sightscreen and the other over midwicket - by Nazimuddin.
Onyango got his revenge when Aftab was caught at long-off for 17, but Ashraful joined Nazimuddin in another useful partnership which yielded 26 off 25 balls. Nazimuddin's dismissal for 43 didn't help Kenya much either as Ashraful continued the run-scoring. When he was dismissed by Ongondo in the 14th over for 36, Bangladesh needed only another 24 runs from 40 deliveries. A sedate unbeaten 19-ball 17 from Alok Kapali saw Bangladesh through to victory with 14 balls to spare.
Kenya struggled to make an impression in the field, and their batting performance earlier in the day wasn't much better. They got off to a good start when David Obuya hit three fours in the first over off Mortaza, but the bowler struck back in his next two overs, dismissing the debutant Jadavji Jesani for 1, followed by Obuya for 23, which came off 19 balls.
Tanmay Mishra and Steve Tikolo, the Kenyan captain, then put on a 42-run stand for the third wicket, before Tikolo was caught at deep midwicket while trying to clear the boundary off Ashraful.
Kenya were 85 for 3 off 14 overs, before Mishra picked up the momentum with a four and six in the 15th over, bowled by Reza. That over cost 13, while the next - bowled by Ashraful - went for 14, with Thomas Odoyo hitting a four and six.
They were pegged back, though, by a double-strike in Reza's final over - the 17th of the innings - as both Odoyo and Mishra lost their off stump attempting a slog. Two wickets also fell in the next over from Razzak - both stumpings - but 17 runs off the last two overs ensured Kenya reached a reasonably competitive total, though it wasn't good enough to challenge Bangladesh.
Kenya face Uganda while Bangladesh meet Pakistan on Sunday.