22 February 2011, Match # 5. Kenya v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Hambantota Kenya again appeared totally out of their depth and posed no challenge to Pakistan at Hambantota, Collins Obuya’s death-or-glory 47 being the only highlight for them as Shahid Afridi helped himself to 5 for 16 in a massive 205-run win, Pakistan’s biggest [...]
22 February 2011, Match # 5. Kenya v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Hambantota
Kenya again appeared totally out of their depth and posed no challenge to Pakistan at Hambantota, Collins Obuya’s death-or-glory 47 being the only highlight for them as Shahid Afridi helped himself to 5 for 16 in a massive 205-run win, Pakistan’s biggest win in World Cups and the eighth largest overall.
Four of Pakistan’s batsmen cashed in to raise half-centuries and set up a total of 317 for 7 after a brief wobble against the new ball and Kenya made little effort to mount a serious challenge in their pursuit, rather looking to a lay a solid platform in the hope of batting out their full quota of overs. That ultimately proved a futile effort, too, although their innings did at least last until the 34th over – longer than their entire match against New Zealand three days ago.
Kenya’s slide began in earnest when Afridi brought himself on and, in his third over, tempted Steve Tikolo down the pitch only for the ball to rush straight on to rattle the stumps. Kenya were 73 for 3 in the 23rd over when Tikolo was dismissed, without any real hope of chasing more than 300 but at least looking steady enough to last the full 50 after the top order had showed at least a little grit. There was no such offering from the middle, however, as the remaining seven wickets fell for just 39 runs in just over ten overs.
Afridi was the chief wrecking ball, quickly ending a bustling innings from Tanmay Mishra and making short work of Jimmy Kamande and Thomas Odoyo as he unfurled a mixed bag of legbreaks, sliders and quicker ones as the ball began to bite and spit off the surface. Amid the carnage, Obuya opened up to smite three enormous sixes but was caught on the boundary attempting a fourth to give Afridi the best figures by a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup, beating Wasim Akram’s 5 for 28 against Namibia in Kimberley at the 2003 tournament. Once he went, the end was mercifully quick in coming.
Ultimately they flattered to deceive, but against expectations Kenya had actually bossed the opening exchanges of the match, Thomas Odoyo and Elijah Otieno showing admirable control with the new ball. Otieno provided the first breakthrough when Hafeez tried to force a length delivery into the leg side but hit it uppishly and Seren Waters, at straight midwicket, leapt to his left and managed to cling onto a juggled catch mere inches from the turf. In the very next over Shehzad, who had scratched around for 17 balls that yielded just a single run, chipped a leading edge to give Jimmy Kamande a simple catch at mid-off and Pakistan were in some serious strife.
The pressure soon began to lift, however, Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan quickly settling and Nehemiah Odhiambo suffering a shambolic start to his spell as 16 runs came from a first over that included three no-balls. Kamran proved the more fluent of the two early in his innings but Younis provided sensible support and, as the spinners came on, plenty of ones and twos were taken to keep the score ticking over.
Kamran eased past 50, from 62 balls, and looked set for plenty more before he charged down the wicket to left-arm spinner Shem Ngoche and was easily stumped. Kenya were buzzing once more with the breakthrough, but despite giving a far a far better account of themselves than they had against New Zealand at Chennai they lacked the necessary firepower to land the killer blow.
Misbah-ul-Haq opened his World Cup account with a massive six off Tikolo and rushed into the 20s at better than a-run-a-ball to complement the more circumspect Younis, who showed the value of steady accumulation before he was dismissed lbw for exactly 50 despite an optimistic review.
Misbah and Umar Akmal were barely troubled as they set about compiling a 118 runs for the fifth wicket, their partnership exploding into life as the Batting Powerplay was called for in the 44th over immediately after Misbah had reached fifty on his World Cup debut. Umar thrashed 20 off a weary Otieno’s seventh over and soon sprinted to the fourth fifty of the innings as the score passed 250 in the 46th over. With Pakistan now swinging from the hip at just about everything, Kenya picked up regular wickets but threatened to unravel completely in the face of an all-out assault.
Odoyo removed Umar and Afridi from consecutive deliveries to find himself on a hat-trick in the 49th over but speared the next ball acres down the leg side and repeated the blunder later in the same over as battle fatigue set in. Extras, with 46, very nearly became the fifth half-century maker of the innings as Kenya had the ignominious honour of equalling the record for most wides in a one-day international, and there was a visible sense of relief as they finally completed their stint in the field.
Their efforts with the bat quickly put their failures with the ball in the shade, however, and Kenya will need a complete overhaul if they are to challenge anyone in this tournament. At the other end of the spectrum, Pakistan will be pleased with a generally slick and professional performance that has set their campaign off on an overwhelmingly positive note.
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