| Sourav Ganguly on the rampage Friday. Picture right shows Kennedy Otieno playing a sweep en route to his 79. (Reuters)
Cape Town: Opener Kennedy Otieno struck a chancy 79 to help Kenya to 225 for six in their World Cup Super Six match against India Friday.
India recovered from 24 for three to post a six-wicket win against Kenya Friday night. They reached the target in 47.5 overs thanks to an unbeaten 118-run stand between skipper Sourav Ganguly (107 not out, his second ton of the meet) and Yuvraj Singh (58 not out). Virender Sehwag (3), Sachin Tendulkar (5), Mohammed Kaif (5) and Rahul Dravid (32) were men dismissed.
The right-hander posted his eighth one-day fifty and shared in two important partnerships after captain Steve Tikolo had elected to bat in the day-night match at Newlands.
The 30-year-old wicket-keeper shared a 75-run opening partnership with Ravindu Shah (34) before adding 76 for the third wicket with Thomas Odoyo. The allroudner, promoted up the order, scored 32.
Kenya were helped by some sloppy Indian catching and fielding, particularly in the early stages when the new ball bowlers toiled on a perfect batting pitch.
Otieno and Shah were dropped once each soon after reaching double figures, while a sloppy Harbhajan Singh at square-leg did not make any genuine attempt to catch two mis-hits by the former.
Otieno maintained his concentration to play powerful shots before he was bowled by a well pitched-up off-break from Harbhajan. He hit two huge sixes and six fours in his 134-ball effort.
Tikolo’s poor form in the tournament continued as he swept Harbhajan to square-leg after scoring only three runs.
Zaheer Khan had effected a sharp direct hit at the non-striker’s end to remove Shah as India took two wickets in the space of six runs to regain control. But after Otieno and Odoyo steadied the ship, former captain Maurice Odumbe chipped in with a quick 34 to take his team to a challenging total. Odumbe’s unbeaten innings came off just 24 balls.
Earlier, Otieno and the in-form Shah thrived on their let-offs. Shah drove Zaheer past mid-wicket and pulled Jawagal Srinath for boundaries. Odoyo also seemed at ease against the Indian pacemen, who bowled consistently short on a good batting pitch. Nehra was the lone exception, conceding just 30 runs in his ten overs without a wicket.
While on 11, Otieno saw Harbhajan let his looping and miscued pull drop close to him to concede a single. Off the next ball slip fielder Dinesh Mongia grassed a thick edge by Shah, then on 19, with Kenya’s total reading 34 in the ninth over.
Otieno had another let-off on 18 when Mohammed Kaif at extra cover let an easy chance bounce off his hands following an uppish drive against Nehra. Khan eventually ran out Shah after Otieno had played him to mid-wicket. (Reuters)