By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 03, 2017
The national cricket team began their India tour with a six-wicket victory over Gujarat State Fertilizers Company (GSFC) cricket side at GSFC Cricket Ground in Vadodara, Gujarat.
This was one of the three build-up matches for Kenya ahead of the crucial International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) matches set for March 11-13 at the Tribhuvan University Oval in Kirtipur, Nepal.
Chasing 166, after the hosts were bowled out in the 23rd over, Kenya put on a good fight and bowled the hosts in the 49th over, thanks to three wickets a piece from spinners Shem Ngoche and Pushpak Kerai.
In reply, Alex Obanda smashed a half ton (60) as Kenya eased to victory with 29.1 overs. Kenya had a good day in the middle as the openers Obanda and Karan Kaul put on a stand of 96 runs in 13.4 overs.
When Kaul was trapped lbw after scoring 32 from 46 balls, Kenya lost their second wicket immediately when Obanda was caught off the last ball of the 16th over off GSFC skipper Abhijit Karambel after having added only four runs in a second wicket stand with skipper Rakep Patel.
Obanda’s knock that came off 55 balls included three sixes and four boundaries.
Rakep added 32 from 27 balls before he was bowled. His dismissal gave way to an unbeaten stand of 49 runs between Collins Obuya (24 not out) together with Dhiren Gondaria (35 not out).
Ngoche and Kerai put on a good show
Gondaria hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 20 balls knock. Ngoche and Kerai put on a good show as they spanned the hosts' middle order.
At 70 for 1 after 14.5, the home team were destined for a good score until Kerai and Ngoche choked them with regular wickets. They lost four wickets for 26 runs in seven overs to stand at 96 for 5 after 23.4 overs.
The middle order tried to hang for a while to get the scores to 140 for 7 with 15 overs to go before finishing on 166 with 46 balls to play.
Ngoche finished with 3 for 35 while Kerai who will be making his maiden appearance for the country against Nepal took three for 39. Nehemiah Odhiambo and Nelson Odhiambo each picked a wicket.
Skipper Patel said the team had drawn some positives from the match and hope to continue improving on their weakness in the next matches
“It is a learning process for us because we have a big match coming. We draw positives from this match and if we build up on that and also improve in areas that we did not excel I’m confident that with remaining matches the results of this trip will come to fruition in Nepal,” Rakep said on phone from India.
Kenya will play Baroda Cricket Association under-23 side at Reliance Ground on Saturday.