Lucas Oluoch’s last wicket heroics was all Kenya needed to beat impressive Singapore by just 12 runs Friday in the Division Three World Cricket League (WCL) qualifiers.
Kenya had won the toss and selected to bat; putting together what appeared a high 324/9 in their 50 overs at the majestic Al Amarat Oval in Oman.
Kenya’s innings were dictated by man of the match Nelson Odhiambo (80 off 58 balls) coming in from middle order which included seven boundaries and two highs in a devastating display for the Kanbis all-rounder.
His shot selection and poise on the crease wowed as he helped shore numbers on the board for Kenya before being caught out by fielder Arjun Mutreja off a slow tight delivery by Anish Paraam as late as the 48th over.
Opener Narendra Patel (68 off 56 balls) was a crucial cog in the Kenyan batting order as he quashed with ease the meek deliveries from the Singaporean bowlers he faced.
He collected nine boundaries in his wake while Rakep Patel (52 off 70 balls) also pushed up the numbers to solid levels before the break. However Singapore bowling attack of Anantha Krishna and Anish Paraam fell six of Kenya’s wickets.
On resumption and with a target of 325, Singapore was electric in chase. Their batting was very impressive especially in the opening overs with the opening partnership of Arjun Mutreja (36 off 34 balls) and Aritra Dutta (25 off 18 balls) showing class inside their 11 overs sojourn on the wicket. Despite combining for a total 11 boundaries on the board, Kenya’s bowlers Emmanuel Bundi (4/10) and Shem Ngoche (2/10) were on song.
However, right hand batsman Anish Paraam (85 off 93 balls) who came in at number three in the order threatened to scuttle Team Kenya’s party with good sweepers. Paraam’s lively contribution included six boundaries before Sachin Bhudia’s quick ball took him out for a bowling much to the relief of Kenya.
Singapore were to be finished off in the 49.3 over after Oluoch’s delivery sent their last man Ahmjad Mahboob out thus an insufficient score total of 312/10.Ranked 23rd in the world, Canada led by skipper Phil Mack will be looking chasing a win assisted by Canada all-time try scoring machine Van Der Merwe.