Thu, 14 Nov 2019

Karim, Gandhi drive Kenya past Singapore

ESPNCricInfo
24 Oct 2019, 09:42 GMT+10

3:00 AM ET

Kenya 159 for 3 (Karim 71*, Gandhi 50, Mahmood 2-30) beat Singapore 157 for 9 (Chandramohan 40, David 29, Otieno 3-29, Oluoch 3-22, Ngoche 2-32) by 7 wickets

Irfan Karim and 19-year-old debutant Aman Gandhi propelled Kenya's chase with a 110-run opening stand at ICC Academy Oval 2, setting the platform for a seven-wicket win over Singapore to keep Group A wide open.

Karim was named Man of the Match for his chanceless unbeaten 71, but Lucas Oluoch was an unsung hero on the day, giving Kenya a huge momentum lift into the break with a triple-wicket maiden in the final over of Singapore's innings. All of Singapore's No. 2-6 batsmen crossed 20 in a fine composite innings from the squad. Tim David provided the early momentum with a series of sweeps for boundaries in his 29 off 19 balls before he was second man out to make it 36 for 2.

Surendran Chandramohan carted Nelson Odhiambo for a six and two fours as part of a 20-run 11th over to put Singapore in the ascendancy at 84 for 2 before he fell to Shem Ngoche, driving to long-off for a top-score of 40 off 30 balls in the innings. Manpreet Singh replaced him at No. 5 and provided an excellent knock scoring off his first 16 deliveries, pinching a series of well run twos through midwicket along the way to keep the pressure on Kenya in the field as Singapore entered the final over on 156 for 6 and Manpreet on 24.

But the wheels came off against Oluoch at the death. Sidhant Singh was bounced out edging a pull through to the keeper off the first ball. After a bye was stolen next ball to get Manpreet back on strike, he failed to get bat on ball on the third delivery before hooking to deep square leg on the fourth. Captain Amjad Mahboob missed a wild slog on the fifth ball before he was bowled missing another heave off the last ball to give Oluoch his third, ending one of the overs of the tournament.

Karim and Gandhi started off the chase in brisk fashion. The pair swept Vinoth Baskaran's left-arm spin for a boundary each in the fourth over before Gandhi flicked Sidhant's medium pace for six over midwicket in the sixth to end the Powerplay at 50 for 0. Karim scored at least one boundary in seven of the first 10 overs, taking command after the Powerplay as he brought up his 50 off 32 balls in the 12th over.

MCCU-Cardiff student Gandhi took a bit longer, reaching his half-century off 45 balls to end the 14th over. It was the last run in their partnership as Gandhi began the 15th over slogging a catch to long-on off Mahboob. As Karim began to tire in the stifling heat, his new partners took care of the lusty hitting to get Kenya across the line. Dhiren Gondaria slammed a straight six off Tim David as part of a 15-run 16th over before he was run out in the 17th by a direct hit from midwicket by Rezza Gaznavi.

Singapore's last hope of a turnaround disappeared when Aahan Achar spilled Collins Obuya over the rope at deep third man for six on Obuya's first ball. Another six was straight driven off Mahboob in the 18th over before he fell at cow corner with the target in single digits. Rakep Patel ended the match on the fifth ball of the 19th over, scooping Janak Prakash over fine leg. The result moves Kenya level on points with Singapore but ahead of them in fourth place on the net run rate tiebreaker, with two matches left to go in Group A.

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