Kenyan skipper Maurice Odombe brought himself into the attack and made amends for his batting failure by picking up the scalps of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper as West Indies sank to 78 for seven © Getty Images
Kenyan skipper Maurice Odombe brought himself into the attack and made amends for his batting failure by picking up the scalps of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper as West Indies sank to 78 for seven © Getty Images

 

By CricketCountry Staff

 

Kenya vs West Indies, Wills World Cup, Pune, 29th February 1996

 

Kenya won by 73 runs

 

Nobody would have given minnows Kenya a chance when they were bowled out for a measly 166 by the West Indies at Pune’s Nehru Stadium. A lop-sided Windies win was very much on the cards. But the unsung Africans engineered one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by racking up a 73-run win.

 

The build-up to the match was far from satisfactory for the West Indies. Captain Richie Richardson was under intense pressure to quit and there was even talk of infighting and unrest in the team. But nothing should take away from the Kenyan achievement on that memorable day.

 

Skipper Maurice Odombe shepherded his team admirably. The Kenyan attack may have appeared pedestrian on paper, but they rose the occasion like champions. Martin Suji and Rajab Ali kept West Indies openers Stuart Campbell and Richie Richardson on a tight leash.

 

Taking early wickets is the key when defending a smallish total, and Rajab Ali triggered early celebrations in the Kenyan camp by bowling Richardson. Suji joined in the wicket-taking act by packing off Campbell to subject the Windies to early pressure.

 

West Indies needed Brian Lara to fire, but the left-hander was in a world of his own, swishing and missing outside off-stump a number of times. Save for a neat cover drive off the first ball he faced, his 19-minute vigil appeared far from assured.

 

He finally perished, going for an expansive back-foot drive off a Rajab Ali delivery that had a hint of swing to be pouched by wicketkeeper Tariq Iqbal. The Windies board read 33 for 3.

 

Lara’s unpleasant stay at the wicket drew flak in the media. “Lara swiped and slashed and eventually edged to an astonished wicketkeeper. He had not shown sufficient respect,” wrote Peter Roebuck, and went on to dub Lara’s batting as “pathetic and arrogant”.

 

Michael Henderson, writing for The Times,was equally scathing. “He threw away his wicket like a spoilt child.”

 

The wicket of Lara considerably energised the Africans, who then went for the kill. There was no resistance from the Windies lower-order as Kenya pressed home the advantage, picking wickets at regular intervals.

 

Kenyan skipper Maurice Odombe brought himself into the attack and made amends for his batting failure by picking up the scalps of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper as West Indies sank to 78 for seven.

 

Rajab Ali hammered the final nail in the Windies coffin to spark off wild celebrations followed by a jubilant victory lap.