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Kenya, Zimbabwe continue to impress

Maurice Ouma top scored with 38 Getty Images

Kenya won their second successive warm-up game, chasing down Ireland's 176 despite losing seven wickets in the end at the ICC Global Cricket Academy. Maurice Ouma led the chase with a patient half-century after Seren Waters and David Obuya had given Kenya a quick start, putting on 46 inside nine overs. Andre Botha, who was the pick of the Irish bowlers, dismissed the openers but Ouma found enough support in Collins Obuya and Rakep Patel to take Kenya closer. A clutch of wickets fell towards the end, but Kenya finally closed out the game in the 46th over.

The fact that Ireland managed what they did was largely due to Ed Joyce. He rebuilt the innings in the company of the tail after Kenya's seam attack had run through seven Irish batsmen for 63 runs. Nehemiah Odhiambo, Peter Ongondo, Elijah Otieno and Thomas Odoyo were more than a handful, and despite a steady start at 52 for 2, Ireland lost the next five wickets for 11. But Joyce and Andrew White dug in to take them past 100, and the tail managed to play out all but one of the 50 overs to guide them to 176, which proved too little in the end.

After the win against Afghanistan two days ago, this victory will further boost Kenya's confidence that would have been dented heavily after they lost all five games to sides comprising mostly of age-group players on their recent tour of Indian state Gujarat.

Zimbabwe made short work of Netherlands at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, rustling up 249 and then blowing Netherlands away for 134. Brendan Taylor made another half-century at the top of the order, and there were also useful contributions from Tatenda Taibu and Regis Chakabva. But Mudassar Bukhari and Bernard Loots took some quick wickets as Zimbabwe slipped to 158 for 7 at one stage. Graeme Cremer responded with a run-a-ball 42, and together with Prosper Utseya and Shingirai Masakadza took Zimbabwe to the brink of 250.

Chris Mpofu and Elton Chigumbura tore through Netherlands after Ed Rainsford had provided an early breakthrough, taking six wickets between them. Netherlands lost regular wickets and were never in the game, getting bowled out for 134 in the 34th over. Opener Alexei Kervezee's 33 was the highest score for them. Bukhari hammered two sixes in his 28 and Bradley Kruger three fours in his 22, but there was not much else to cheer about.

Afghanistan shot out Canada for 105, and then chased down the target with more than 26 overs to spare in Dubai. Hamid Hassan, the Afghanistan captain, and Shapoor Zadran almost ended the match as a contest soon after Canada chose to bat, sending back half the side with eight runs on the board. But Khurram Chohan and Jimmy Hansra stuck in to make twenties, and Balaji Rao and Harvir Baidwan took Canada just past 100. Mirwais Ashraf ensured Canada didn't have too much of a recovery, taking 4 for 39.

Canada's bowlers tried gamely, but there weren't enough runs to defend. Asghar Stanikzai made a quick 27, and the others chipped in as Afghanistan won comfortably with five wickets remaining.