10 July 2015
Karim fifty fires Kenya to victory
Opener’s unbeaten 74 the cornerstone of successful chase against Canada in Group B match
Karim found excellent support in Morris Ouma, the wicketkeeper-batsman staying not out on 34 off 26 to fashion the match-winning partnership alongside Karim.
Opting to field first, Kenya’s bowlers were pushed on the back foot, with Canada’s opening pair of Ruvindu Gunasekera and Rizwan Cheema, the captain, coming out all guns blazing.
The openers put on 83 runs for the first wicket in just 9.2 overs before Cheema fell for a well-made 35 off 25 balls. Gunasekara fell soon after for a 38-ball 51, as Kenya fought back. The bowlers were rewarded with more breakthroughs thereafter, with Canada’s middle order not able to match the openers’ heroics.
However, Kenya still ended up with a healthy 143 for 5 in its 20 overs. Nelson Odhiambo had the best figures for Kenya, with 2 for 22 in just four overs. James Ngoche too picked up a couple of wickets, taking 2 for 30.
Kenya’s chase didn’t begin sturdily, with three wickets falling inside eight overs. Jeremy Gordon accounted for Narendra Kalyan, the opener, and Nehemiah Odhiambo, who came in at No.3. A short while later Collins Obuya fell to Saad Bin Zafar, and the scoreboard read 52 for 3.
Karim, however, was in form and he took it upon himself to send the bowlers on a leather hunt. His unbeaten 74 came off just 54 deliveries, and was studded with seven fours and three sixes.
"Its good to get off to a good start," Karim said after the victory. "In other tournaments, we have been slow in the beginning. Once we kept them to 145, the plan was to keep wickets in hand and chase the target down. In Twenty20 cricket, anything can happen. I think our chances are quite good in the tournament, though any team can go through. We might not be the favourites as such, but we would love to surprise a few."
Karim found excellent support in Morris Ouma, the wicketkeeper-batsman staying not out on 34 off 26 to fashion the match-winning partnership alongside Karim. The duo put on 94 runs without being separated. That the stand took only 65 balls spoke of how well they dominated the bowling.
In the end Kenya finished on 146 for 3 from 18.3 overs to secure two points.
Kenya will take on Oman next on Saturday, while Canada will get a day’s break, before also facing off against Oman, on Sunday.