A half-century from Aaron Jones was followed by a searing spell of fast bowling from Man of the Match Ali Khan as USA men's team defeated Kenya for the first time in history, to win by a whopping 154 runs, vaulting past Oman to the top of the WCL Division Three tournament table by virtue of a superior net run-rate.
Prior to Monday, USA had been bowled out by Kenya in three previous losses in one-day cricket for totals of 162, 32 and most recently 63 in just 18.3 overs at Abu Dhabi last December. Kenya sent USA in at the toss hoping to do more of the same but USA capitalized on poor fielding from the opposition for the second match in a row to build up a commanding total of 254.
Kenya gave away more than 100 runs in missed chances in the field to let USA off the hook. Monank Patel, who survived a missed run-out chance on the third ball of USA's win over Uganda to make 107, was dropped on a return chance by Elijah Otieno in the third over on 9 and went on to make 25.
An even more costly let-off was given to Steven Taylor, who should have been run-out for 12 at 69 for 2 but captain Shem Ngoche's throw from 15 yards at midwicket missed by a whisker, and he went on to make 41 off 34 balls.
However, the biggest reprieve of the day was given to Jones. The Barbados-based batsman had been out edging behind a cut for 4 against Uganda and gave a carbon-copy chance on 14, but on this occasion Kenya wicketkeeper Irfan Karim could not hang on.
Jones battled through the rest of Ngoche's spell, reaching 34 off 99 balls before slogging Dhiren Gondaria's part-time spin for six over long-on for his first boundary. It began a stirring flurry in which Jones struck 35 off his next 19 balls, including two more sixes over long-on.
USA were 182 for 4 after 44 overs before Hayden Walsh Jr provided a similar burst, hitting a pair of sixes and fours down the ground in the 45th off Rakep Patel to spark a sequence of 63 runs in four overs, taking USA past 200. A belated Kenya fightback resulted in USA bowled out by the final ball, though 254 was more than enough to defend behind their dynamic pace attack led by Khan.
The Ohio fast bowler, who surged to stardom through the Global T20 Canada and CPL this summer, overwhelmed Kenya in his opening six-over spell. He started by inducing an edge behind from Narendra Patel, followed by a cunning inswinger that trapped Karim leg before without offering a shot and finally a top-edge to mid-on by Alex Obanda for three wickets in the Powerplay.
At the opposite end, captain Saurabh Netravalkar claimed two wickets with disciplined lines and by the end of the ninth over Kenya were 21 for 5 from which they never recovered. They were eventually bowled out for 96 in just 26 overs.
'Singapore can finish in top two' - Aritra Dutta
Singapore's Aritra Dutta made 87 in his side's 94-run victory over Denmark in the WCL Division Three
Aritra Dutta and Arjun Mutreja's 140-run opening partnership in just 23 overs after being sent in at the toss gave Singapore a dominant position that they never relinquished in a 94-run win over Denmark on Monday at the Oman Cricket Academy.
Dutta made just 23 runs in three matches on his 50-over debut during the Asia Cup Qualifier in Malaysia this August and followed up his 38 against Oman in Singapore's opening match at Division Three with another impressive effort to top score with 87, including nine fours and three sixes.
Denmark did not help matters by missing three chances in the field early in their innings as Singapore's opening pair continued to heap pressure on their bowling unit. Offspinner Anique Uddin finally broke the partnership with his first ball in the 24th over to deny Dutta a century and claimed Mutreja for 57 six overs later caught at deep midwicket.
Fellow spinners Saif Ahmad (3 for 46) and Nicolaj Laegsgaard (2 for 36) helped Denmark fight back further in the field as Singapore failed to last their full 50 overs, eventually being bowled out for 254.
Amjad Mahboob took the first of his three wickets in the third over when Zameer Khan was beaten flicking across the line to be pinned lbw for 2. Captain Hamid Shah fought a lone battle from the top, making 85, and he was the ninth man out. He could only watch helplessly while legspinner Anantha Krishna decimated the middle-order with 4 for 37 as Denmark capitulated for 160 in 35.4 overs.