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Samuels hits ton in West Indies win
Simon Evans | March 06, 2007 09:52 IST
Brian Lara's side reached a total of 268 for four but non-Test playing Kenya, coached by former West Indies international Roger Harper will be pleased with their response as they ended 21 runs short at 247 for seven.
Opening batsman Chris Gayle laid the foundations for a solid West Indies total, the left-hander striking a fifty off 66 balls, in the inaugural game at the new Trelawny stadium, before he was bowled by Hiren Varaiya for 75.
There was a small crowd at the 10,000 capacity venue, which will host the opening ceremony on March 11 but the stay-away fans missed some fine stroke-playing from local boy Samuels who hit nine fours and two sixes in his 91-ball century.
The 26-year-old Samuels was cleared to play in the World Cup despite an International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit investigation into allegations that he passed on confidential team information to a bookmaker.
After taking the attack to the Kenyans, Samuels retired on exactly 100 with three overs remaining to allow 19-year-old debutant Kieron Pollard some time at the crease.
Kenya, surprise semi-finalists four years ago, struggled at the start of their reply with Daren Powell making two early breakthroughs, claiming the wickets of Morris Ouma and David Obuya, but the Africans' most accomplished batsman, Ravindu Shah, steadied the ship with a well crafted 41.
Shah was caught by Pollard off the bowling of a lively Corey Collymore but captain Steve Tikolo and Collins Obuya kept things ticking along until they were both dismissed by Pollard.
Collins Obuya made an impressive 54 not out but with little support for him Kenya were unable to maintain the necessary run rate to make a really threatening late surge.
West Indies begin their campaign in group D against Pakistan on March 13 before going on to face Zimbabwe and Ireland as they battle to become the first hosts to win the World Cup.
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