11 July 2015
Kenya holds off Oman for narrow win
Collins Obuya half-century takes African side to 143 for 7, with Oman’s chase falling short by seven runs
Kenya's batsmen put up 143 for 7 before its bowlers restricted Oman to 136 for 7 for a seven-run win.
Oman’s openers were looking set to attack after a lukewarm start to the chase, but Shem Ngoche, the left-arm spinner, rattled Oman with the wickets of both Khawar Ali (11) and Zeeshan Maqsood (13) in consecutive overs to put the breaks on the scoring rate.
Two overs later, James Ngoche, Shem's brother, joined the party with a wicket, going past the defence of Vaibhav Wategaonkar (7) and reducing Oman to 47 for 3 in the 10th over.
Jatinder Singh (31) and Mehran Khan (13) then took up the responsibility of consolidating the innings, putting up a fighting 29-ball stand of 30 for the fourth wicket. But their resistance did not last too long, with Rakep Patel and Shem dismissing both within the space of one run, and Sultan Ahmed, the captain, also following suit soon after to leave Oman struggling at 90 for 6 in the 17th over.
It was now upto Amir Ali, the No. 7 batsman, and Rajeshkumar Ranpura, and they almost succeeded in taking Oman over the line with a seventh-wicket stand of 36 off 20 balls. Eventually, Oman found itself needing three sixes to win off the last three balls. That proved a bridge too far though.
Shem (3 for 25) ending with the best figures for Kenya.
Earlier, sent in to bat, Kenya got off to a slow start, with the batsmen managing just 29 runs in 5.2 overs before Ranpura, the right-arm medium pacer, removed the in-form Irfan Karim (19).
Narendra Kalyan, the other opener, was next to go, trapped leg before off the bowling of Maqsood, the left-arm spinner, with Kenya finding itself 33 for 2 in 7.1 overs.
Nehemiah Odhiambo and Collins Obuya then got together with a 39-run partnership off 29 balls, with both batsmen scoring at a good rate to release the pressure created by the early wickets. But Maqsood struck once again in the 12th over to break the partnership between the two, sending Odhiambo back for an 18-ball 19.
That brought Obuya and Patel together, who stepped up the run-rate to script a rapid fourth-wicket partnership of 52 off just 35 balls.
Obuya reached his half century in the 18th over, but was dismissed immediately after, caught by Aamir Kaleem off Ranpura's bowling. His 37-ball knock of 50 was studded with three boundaries and a six.
A short cameo from Lucas Oluoch (12 off 6) coupled with a few lusty blows from Patel (21 off 17) helped Kenya set Oman a competitive target - one that proved just a bit too many for the tournament debutants in the end.
To view the full scorecard, please click here.