India beats Kenya, cruises through to final

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2001, 7:49 [IST]
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Paarl: Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar shared a world-record opening stand as India avenged last week's shock loss to Kenya with a crushing 186-run victory over the minnows here Wednesday. Ganguly (111) and Tendulkar (146) put on 258, six more than the same pair scored against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1997/98, as India posted 351 for three after winning the toss. The victory at Boland Park saw India safely through to Friday's final of the triangular series against South Africa. Kenya made no attempt to go for a near-impossible win, scoring 165 for five in reply as India took revenge for last week's shock 70-run defeat by the Kenyans in Port Elizabeth. The win took India to the final against South Africa in Durban on Friday. Ganguly, India's captain, and Tendulkar set a second world record by sharing their 16th century stand in One-day Internationals, one more than Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes of the West Indies. Tendulkar extended his own individual world mark by easing his way to his 31st One- day century. His only anxious moment was on 12 when an inside edge against Kenyan opening bowler Martin Suji went dangerously close to the leg stump before racing for four. Tendulkar had been bowled off an inside edge when India crashed to defeat in Port Elizabeth last Wednesday. "What happened in Port Elizabeth really hurt us and we wanted to hit back," said Tendulkar. The batsmen took some time to adjust to a slow pitch, scoring only 19 runs in the first five overs but the rate picked up significantly as they took the total to 98 by the end of 15 overs when field-placing restrictions ended. Both men needed just 48 balls to reach 50. Tendulkar went on to his century off 100 balls with 11 fours, while Ganguly took 15 deliveries more, hitting six fours and three sixes. He was out after batting for 123 balls and hitting one more four. Tendulkar made his 146 off 132 balls with 17 fours. Ganguly gave the only chance by either batsman when he was dropped on 105 by Hitesh Modi off Martin Suji at long off. He finally holed out to long on against Thomas Odoyo, Kenya's only successful bowler. Odoyo had Tendulkar caught at mid-wicket off a full toss in his next over and finished with three for 67 off 10 overs. Odoyo bowled his first five overs for just eight runs and went for 59 off his remaining five. India was strengthened by the inclusion of batsman V V S Laxman, who arrived in South Africa on Tuesday after missing the start of the tournament because of injury. But he only got to the crease in the 44th over, making 15 before being bowled by Odoyo. Virendra Sehwag compounded the Kenyans misery as he slammed 55 not out off 23 balls with seven fours and three sixes. Kennedy Otieno and Ravindu Shah gave Kenya a fair start by putting on 42 for the first wicket before Shah was needlessly run out. He pushed the ball to the covers and went for a single but Otieno didn't respond and he had no chance of getting back to his crease. Ganguly said India would be confident going into the final. "It is going to be a good game," he said. "To bat well is the key."

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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