Cape Town: Gary Kirsten and Neil McKenzie hit centuries as South Africa piled up 354 for three in its triangular Limited Overs series day-night match against Kenya at Newlands in Cape Town on Monday. Kirsten made 124 and McKenzie 131 not out. The twosome put on 207 for the second wicket, a South African record, in a relentless, methodical display of largely risk- free batting as the Kenyans were brought back to earth after a shock 70-run win over India in Port Elizabeth last Wednesday. 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. 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 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. Kirsten reached his century off 111 balls and was caught at deep mid-wicket 19 balls later after hitting 12 fours and two sixes. McKenzie, after a cautious start, took 106 balls to reach three figures and faced a total of 123 deliveries, hitting eight fours and three sixes. Boucher, in only his second innings of the series, lashed out in the closing overs, hitting two fours and four sixes as he raced to his fifty. Kenya was again without suspended captain Maurice Odumbe, while opening bowler Joseph Angara, hero of Kenyas win over India, had returned home because of the death of his mother. Batsman Sandeep Gupta was ruled out by an Achilles tendon injury and Kenya fielded emergency replacement Hitesh Modi.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |