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WC 2003 - The magic continues: Unfancied Kenyans cruise into semis

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2002, 21:28 [IST]
 
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Bloemfontein: Kenya's first ever One-day win against Zimbabwe took Steve Tikolo's unfancied side into the semi-finals of the World Cup after its triumphed by seven wickets in its Super Six clash at Goodyear Park on Wednesday.

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An unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 73 off 56 balls between two of Kenya's stalwarts, Thomas Odoyo (43 not out off 40 balls) and Maurice Odumbe (38 not out off 20 balls) saw the non-Test nation achieve a crushing victory with 24 overs to spare.Kenya, which takes on reigning champion Australia in its last Super Sixes match on Saturday, will play India in the day-night semi-final at Durban on March 20.For their African opponents defeat meant their slim hopes of reaching the last four had been extinguished.

It was a remarkable result given that Zimbabwe, a Test side, had won 12 of the teams' 14 previous One-day Internationals with the other two no-results.Kenya's victory, which took it into the last four of the World Cup for the first time in its history was all but assured, barring a huge attack of nerves, after it skittled out Zimbabwe for just 133.Only star batsman Andy Flower, with a battling 63, Douglas Marillier and Dion Ebrahim managed double figures after Zimbabwe skipper Heath Streak won the toss.Martin Suji, with three for 19, made the early breakthroughs before leg spinner Collins Obuya ripped through the middle-order with three for 32. Odoyo also captured the prize wicket of Flower who confirmed on Tuesday that he will bring down the curtain on his international career as soon as the World Cup ends.

The left-hander was bowled round his legs having faced 101 balls. Former captain Alistair Campbell, drafted into the squad following Mark Vermeulen's skull fracture, managed just seven before he was lbw to Suji on a slow pitch where runs were hard to come by.Zimbabwe's innings was summed up by the comical run out of Andy Blignaut for four. After Flower called him through and then sent him back, both batsmen ended up diving into the striker's end as Maurice Odumbe's throw arrowed into keeper Kennedy Otieno, who sprinted down the pitch to complete the run out.Zimbabwe recalled Henry Olonga for his first World Cup appearance since he and Flower staged their controversial black armband protest against President Robert Mugabe's regime during the team's tournament opener against Namibia in Harare on February 10.

Kenya opener Ravindu Shah was dropped twice and survived a confident appeal for caught behind before he was run out for 14, backing up ironically off another dropped catch by bowler Blignaut.And Blignaut missed another opportunity of his own bowling when he put down a drive by Otieno on eight. But Streak made no mistake when he safely held out-of-form Steve Tikolo at mid-off after the Kenya captain mishooked Blignaut to leave his side 33 for two in the 10th over.Olonga did not help Zimbabwe's cause with eight no-balls. It was symbolic of a poor display by a Zimbabwe side rocked by the pre-match resignation of selector Andy Pycroft.Copyright AFP 2001

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