| Kenya’s Kennedy Otieno sweeps en route to his 59 in Nairobi Sunday. (AFP)
Nairobi: Younis Khan made an unbeaten 87 to help Pakistan cruise to a seven-wicket victory over Kenya in Sunday’s tri-series match at Nairobi Gymkhana.
The 24-year-old right-hander struck 11 fours and one six after arriving at the crease in the fourth over with the total on 13 for two. He shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 127 with Misbah-ul-Haq to steer Pakistan to victory in the 39th over.
However, chasing a modest 180 for victory, the Pakistanis lost Saeed Anwar and Shoaib Malik early. Anwar was caught behind of the bowling of Martin Suji for two, and Malik was trapped leg-before by Thomas Odoyo for three.
Younis and Shahid Afridi then shared a third-wicket partnership of 41 before the latter was caught at third-man by Tony Suji off Joseph Angara. Afridi narrowly avoided being run-out before venting his frustration by smashing 20 runs off Odoyo’s next over which included two sixes and two fours.
Earlier, Kenya won the toss and were bowled out for 179 in the 43rd over, with Kennedy Otieno’s 59 being the only innings of note.
Otieno’s score came off 68 balls and included four fours and two sixes. The opener reached 47 by the 25th over as the home team recovered from the loss of two early wickets to reach 111 for four. Ravindu Shah was bowled by Shoaib Akhtar for one while Steve Tikolo was dismissed by Wasim Akram for three.
Vice-captain Thomas Odoyo and Otieno helped steady the innings with a third-wicket partnership of 61 runs to push the score from 14 in the fifth over to 75 in the 18th.
Odoyo was clean bowled by Akhtar in the eighth over, but South African umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled the delivery as a no ball.
Kenya’s fortunes took a nosedive when Odoyo was caught at mid-on by Akhtar off captain Waqar Younis. The allrounder scored 28 off 49 balls, with the help of five fours.
Middle-order mainstay Maurice Odumbe was at the wicket for just six minutes before being clean bowled by Afridi in the 19th over for ten.
Sunday’s win helped Pakistan recover from the traumatic 224-run defeat against Australia on Friday. Following this win, Pakistan are more or less assured of a berth in the final, having won two of their three matches. They had beaten Kenya by four wickets in the meet-opener on Thursday.