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Odoyo shines as Kenya edge out Canada
February 16, 2003 02:48 IST
Thomas Odoyo was Kenya's hero as the African side ground their way to a four-wicket victory over Canada in a hard-fought World Cup Group B match in Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, on Saturday.
Chasing a modest 198 to achieve only their second win in 12 World Cup matches, the Kenyans reached their target with nine balls to spare as Canada, buoyed by their opening win over Bangladesh, pushed them all the way.
"It was far too close for comfort," said Kenya captain Steve Tikolo.
Man-of-the-match Odoyo completed tidy figures of four for 28 before his calm unbeaten 27 steered his side to their target.
"I just tried to bowl straight, the ball was doing a bit," Odoyo said. "I tried not to show the pressure when I came out to bat."
Ravindu Shah also made a polished 61 for Kenya to follow his defiant knock of 60 in the team's crushing opening defeat by hosts South Africa.
Kennedy Otieno fell early but Shah, dropped early in his innings and batting with a runner, and Tikolo added 84 for the second wicket.
Tikolo was lbw to off spinner John Davison for 42, and when Shah, whose 50 included seven fours, fell to Sanjayan Thuraisingam, Kenya rather lost their way.
Maurice Odumbe struck a massive six over mid-wicket in his 26, but fell lbw to Davison, who plays his club cricket for South Australia.
Hitesh Modi played an extraordinarily defensive innings, making only six runs from 48 balls before being deceived by the exemplary Davison who completed outstanding figures of three for 15 from 10 overs.
But Odoyo and Peter Ongondo added 38 for the sixth wicket to see the east Africans to the brink of victory.
"We put up a good fight all the way to the end," Canada captain Joseph Harris said. "Another couple of wickets and things could have been different."
Earlier, Ian Billcliff anchored the Canadian innings with a patient 71, sharing a third-wicket partnership of 86 with Harris to give their side a solid foundation.
Odoyo had struck an early blow for Kenya when he bowled Ishwar Maraj for five, but Davison made a breezy run-a-ball 31, including two big sixes and two fours.
Desmond Chumney was caught by Shah off Collins Obuya for 10 to leave Canada in trouble at 48 for three before Billcliff and captain Harris dug in.
Billcliff reached his 50 off 81 balls, including two sixes and five fours, and the pair were just beginning to accelerate when Harris was caught by a diving Tony Suji for 31.
Billcliff was bowled by Suji after being deceived in the flight, sparking a flurry of late wickets.
Collins Obuya and Odumbe took two wickets each.
Kenya's only other World Cup victory was their stunning 73-run upset win over West Indies in 1996.
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