For 94 runs and nearly 30 overs Kenya clung on. The brothers Obuya, Collins and David, kept out Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis building a mirage of a platform. The late-overs boost was never going to materialise, but two fifties - well-made ones in fact - was a small triumph in a tournament of batting misery.
A total of 142 all out is improvement of some kind on previous scores of 69 and 112 but as the captain Jimmy Kamande said later, it was nowhere close to being good enough. "I thought [David and Collins] batted very well, but they didn't bat through and that's the only thing we needed to do today. One of the batsmen who was settled in must bat through 50 overs, but we couldn't do that."
Either side of that stand, Kenya were blown aside by Lasith Malinga, whose hat-trick sealed off a collapse of eight wickets for just 40 runs. The brothers and extras (19) were the only double-figure scores in the entire innings. In their defence, Kenya are not the first side to fall to Malinga.
"It's not easy to face him," Kamande said. "It's always been a difficult one, a big challenge because Malinga is a different type of style and technique. But we are here to do the job which we didn't do. Our big concern is we are not batting out our 50 overs. That's the one area we want to work on very, very hard because you can't win matches without batting your full quota of overs.
"The wicket looked solid for batting but the only difference was the spell that Malinga came out to bowl. Maybe we were a bit slow in our batting, but that was also because of tight bowling from Sri Lanka and batting under lights is not something which Kenyans are used to so I thought batting first was the best option."
The upside for Kenya is that two of their next three games, against Zimbabwe and Canada, are ones they will expect to win. "Playing Sri Lanka and playing against Pakistan, those two games were very, very tough for us because both are top Test sides," Kamande said. They now travel to Delhi to take on Canada on March 7, for what Kamande said was a "must-win" game for the side.
Not helping matters has been the environment in which the game was played, soon after comments from Kenya's chief Samir Inamdar who said recently that differences between the coach Eldine Baptiste and senior players had affected the side's performances.
As he did prior to the game, Kamande played down the comments, insisting that the unit was "very solid together." "The whole squad I know is giving is 110 per cent," Kamande said. "You don't need to tell anyone you need to perform against Canada. After all these tough matches against Test sides that's what we need to show, that we have learnt from them. Canada have also suffered big defeats and we know they will also come hard at us and that's what we should be prepared for."