SA thrashes Kenya to take its biggest ODI win

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2001, 7:36 [IST]
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Cape Town: Gary Kirsten and Neil McKenzie hit centuries as South Africa thrashed Kenya by 208 runs in a triangular Limited Overs series day-night match at Newlands on Monday.

Kirsten made 124 and McKenzie 131 not out as South Africa hammered 354 for three in its 50 overs after winning the toss. Kenya struggled to 146 all out in reply to give South Africa its biggest One-day win. Kirsten and McKenzie put on 207 for the second wicket, a South African record, in a relentless display of risk-free batting as the Kenyans were brought back to earth after a shock 70-run win over India last week. Mark Boucher slammed a 19-ball half-century in the last five overs as South Africa made the highest total in a One-day International at Newlands.

On a pitch with pace and bounce, South Africa's fast bowlers were too good for the Kenyan batsmen, although Thomas Odoyo hit an impressive 44 off 56 balls with two sixes and four fours, while emergency replacement Hitesh Modi made an unbeaten 26. Swing bowler Charl Langeveldt, playing in his second game for South Africa, took four for 21.

Fast bowler Mornantau Hayward gave a fiery performance and showed that he could win a place in the summers Test matches against India and Australia. Hayward beat Steve Tikolo, Kenyas star batsman, for pace when he had him caught behind for 11 and finished with one for 19. With both Allan Donald and Mfuneko Ngam reporting potentially long-term injuries at the weekend, Hayward could be the genuine fast bowler that South Africa seek.

Kirsten, playing on his home ground, hit his 12th Limited Overs century. It was only the second One-day hundred made in 17 internationals at Newlands and the first by a South African. The veteran left-hander had missed South Africa's previous two matches because of a thigh strain. McKenzie, promoted up the batting order after not getting an innings in the previous two games, took full advantage as he followed Kirsten and made his second One-day International century.

Kirsten gave a chance when he had 12, driving a ball from Martin Suji at waist height to the bowler's right. Opening partner Herschelle Gibbs also gave an early caught and bowled chance, to Thomas Odoyo, but made only 16 before skying Odoyo to mid-wicket. Kirsten and McKenzie then batted effortlessly, without being put under any sustained pressure by the Kenyan bowlers. South Africa finished its round robin programme with five wins in six matches to top the table. Kenya has a chance of reaching the final against South Africa in Durban on Friday but must repeat its giant-killing performance of last week when it meets India in Paarl on Wednesday.

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