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India take 11.3 overs to crush Kenya by 10 wickets

As if anxious to spend as little time as possible at Goodyear Park, India took just 11.3 overs to sweep to a 10-wicket victory over Kenya in their Standard Bank One-Day International on Friday evening.

There were very few spectators in to watch the two "away" teams in this triangular and those that were present might have felt a little short-changed in terms of overs for money. Kenya lasted only 37.1 overs in making 90 and, in all, the match consisted of just 48.4 overs.

India didn't bother to used their regular openers, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, entrusting the task of knocking off the runs to Deep Dasgupta and Virender Sehwag. In many respects Sehwag is a Tendulkar lookalike and apart from the resemblance he played a Tendulkaresque innings, helping himself to 55 before the match ended. Dasgupta's contribution was 24.

The gulf in class between the haves and the have-nots of international cricket was never more evident than on Friday as the Kenyans were simply blown away. The only thing that went right for them was winning the toss, but even this proved a mixed blessing.

Ajit Agarkar bowled Ravindu Shah with the last ball of the second over and from there on things went downhill for Kenya. Agarkar's opening six-over spell brought him three for 9 and he was to come back later in the innings to finish with four for 27.

And when he wasn't in action from the Loch Logan end, Anil Kumble was, claiming three leg before victims as he took three for 14 in his 10 overs. It was an innings, in fact, mostly notable for its statistics - eight wickets fell to bowlers operating from the Loch Logan end, there were five lbw victims, four batsmen out bowled and just one catch in the innings - and an umpiring curiosity.

When Thomas Odoyo had 9 he was adjudged run out by umpire Dave Orchard after being sent back by Martin Suji. As he left the field, the third umpire Wilf Diedricks got on the radio to Orchard to inform him that he'd made a mistake.

At this point Odoyo was already off the field of play, but Orchard reversed his decision and called Odoyo back. It was, in the end, the right decision, but Orchard got to it by probably the wrong procedure. In a match so one-sided as this one it made no difference, but in a tighter contest a major controversy would almost certainly have erupted.

How much Kenya benefited from this trouncing is a moot point. It is one thing to argue that the East Africans, and other lesser sides, need to play the bigger teams for experience, but one-sided humiliations serve very little purpose for anyone.

And, certainly, the Bloemfontein public voted with their feet by almost completely ignoring this match. A head-to-head series between South Africa and India would have provided six or seven matches and far better cricket than the mismatches currently involving Kenya.

Perhaps the only positive feature of the entire match was the fact that by winning so easily India have now moved to the top of the triangular table on run rate over South Africa.