Tikolo stars with the bat with a quick-fire 48
In a Group B encounter, Kenya thrashed Denmark by eight wickets to register its first win in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai on Monday (November 18).
Batting first, Denmark was rattled early, losing three wickets for just 12 runs in four overs. Captain Michael Refstrup Pedersen showed some resistance, scoring a 38-ball 21. He collaborated with right-hand batsman Taha Ahmed to stitch together a partnership of 23 runs for the sixth wicket. However, Kenya kept picking up wickets at regular intervals and restricted Denmark to just 84 for 8 in 20 overs. Right-arm pacer Nehemiah Odhiambo finished with figures of 3 for 15 from his four overs and was well supported by Ragheb Aga, who returned figures of 2 for 8.
Chasing 85 to win, Kenya’s opener set up a 71-run stand in seven overs. Right-arm fast-medium bowler Kamran Mahmood dismissed Alex Obanda (30), and, three balls later, also ran out Nehemiah Odhiambo (3). Veteran right-hand batsman Steve Tikolo carried Kenya home in the tenth over, compiling a brisk 30-ball 48.
Odhiambo was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Kenya captain Collins Obuya expressed satisfaction over the team’s performance. “I am very happy with our performance today. We all have been playing good cricket but luck has not been on our side, hopefully now luck would start to be on our side and we would put up a good performance in the tournament.”
“Our plan for today was very simple, just to go out there and do the basics right. We wanted to restrict Denmark to a low total which we managed and chased it down in eight overs,” he added.
Obuya also praised his bowlers. “The matches have not been going our way, our bowling has been struggling while the batsmen have been putting runs on the board,” he said. “We wanted our bowlers to dominate in this match, my plan was to run in hard and get quick wickets upfront with the new ball and it worked well for me.”
Having suffered three consecutive losses in the tournament, Pedersen acknowledged the fact that the young team needs to learn from the defeats. “It has been very hard down for us, obviously we came in as one of the smaller teams in the competition and its lot of development work for us,” he said.
“We are a very young side and we need to take away as much as we can from our matches as we are playing some good teams and our group on paper is probably the strongest one. I think we are improving and learning from these games and I think we need to take our game to next level,” he added.
Kenya is now placed in the sixth position, above Scotland and Denmark, with one win in three matches, and will play Scotland on Tuesday (November 19).