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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Zealand vs Kenya


Hamish Bennett led New Zealand's humiliation of a Kenya outfit clearly out of its depth, attacking the stumps with metronomic accuracy to rip out four quick wickets as the minnows capitulated for just 69 - their lowest World Cup total and the fifth worst overall. Tim Southee helped himself to three cheap wickets, while Jacob Oram also picked up three in three overs before Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum eased their side to an unchallenged 10-wicket win.
Kenya's first showing at this tournament demonstrated both their lack of competency against good, but hardly exceptional, seam bowling and their incomprehension of the review system - borderline decisions were accepted without question and clear cut ones questioned out of sheer desperation.
Jimmy Kamande called correctly at the toss and opted to bat on a pitch expected to help slow bowlers, but that was Kenya's last success of the morning. The new ball barely deviated off the straight for Southee but Kenya's young opening pair, perhaps over-awed by the occasion, remained nervously rooted to the crease. They had cobbled together just 14 runs - all in singles - when Southee nipped one off the seam to strike Alex Obanda in front of leg stump.
Umpire Marais Erasmus' decision initially looked a good one, but there was a hint that a review might have been in order. The Kenyans were, of course, unfamiliar with the UDRS but that provides no excuse for Obanda's tame acceptance of his demise as replays showed that the ball would have gone over the top of the stumps by at least an inch or two.
With the innings drifting swiftly into mediocrity Collins Obuya got going with a couple of meaty blows off Nathan McCullum, who opened the bowling from the other end, but just as he and Waters were starting to gain momentum Bennett was introduced and soon had the innings in disarray. First, he fired one full and straight at Waters, the ball shooting through at a low shin height to pin the batsman in front of his stumps.

There would have been high hopes in the Kenyan camp of Steve Tikolo, their veteran batsman, sparking a revival but he was swiftly removed by a searing full delivery that burst through a lazy swish to make a mess of his stumps. With the ball keeping low and starting to nip off the seam Obuya was the next batsman to be rapped on the front pad, right in front of middle. Perhaps out of desperation, a completely superfluous review was called for but there was no second life for Obuya and the innings sank even further when Maurice Ouma was dispatched in identical fashion in Bennett's next over to leave Kenya staring into the abyss at 49 for 5.
That soon become 59 for 6, Jacob Oram finding the edge of Kamande's bat to end his brief resistance, and with that the fight went from Kenya's innings. Oram had Thomas Odoyo, who was fending at a rising delivery, easily caught by Jesse Ryder and Southee was on a hat-trick when he removed Nehemiah Odhiambo and Shem Ngoche with the last two balls of his sixth over. There was no second international hat-trick for him, however, with Elijah Otieno flicking Oram straight to midwicket shortly afterwards to end a miserable Kenyan innings.
Guptill took the lead as New Zealand completed the formality of the chase in just eight overs, thrashing two enormous sixes and peppering the boundary almost at will in a 32-ball 39. An uninspired McCullum chipped in with a rapid 26 as Kenya at least attempted to remain upbeat in the field despite the futility of their efforts.
While New Zealand would have been hoping for a successful start to their campaign, the ease of their win here is hardly the best preparation for sterner challenges ahead against the likes of Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For Kenya, things can only get better after a day they would dearly like to forget, though their performance won't have done any favours to the argument that Associate nations deserve to be involved in future World Cups.

SMART STATS:

  • Kenya's total of 69 is by far their lowest in World Cup games - it's their first sub-100 total in 24 games. They lasted 23.5 overs, which is the lowest for them.
  • It's also the fifth-lowest total in World Cups. Canada's 36 against Sri Lanka in 2003 is the lowest.
  • For the first time in a World Cup match, New Zealand dismissed a team for less than 100. The previous lowest against New Zealand in a full 50-over match had beenBangladesh's 116 in 1999.
  • New Zealand won the match with 252 balls to spare, which is their most comprehensive World Cup win - and the third-best for all teams in World Cups - in terms of balls remaining. In all ODIs, it's New Zealand's second-most emphatic win.
  • Hamish Bennett's 4 for 16 is his best ODI figures, bettering the 4 for 46 he had achieved against Pakistan in his previous ODI.

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