Kenya is playing One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for two decades now © Getty Images
Kenya is playing One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for two decades now © Getty Images

Starting from scratch and emerging as an unexpected threat to the Big Boys of cricket, many countries have gone through the phase. The most recent are Bangladesh, who have pulled off many an upset defeating their seniors Pakistan, South Africa and India in limited-overs cricket in a short span of time. Another country had done a similar job within seven years of getting their ODI status. They are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the day they played the first international, but are nowhere to be seen on the horizon as of now. On the anniversary of the special day, Paulami Chakraborty looks back at five moments in Kenya’s cricket history that can be marked as milestones. READ: 14 greatest upsets in ODIs

1. First ODI win: 1996 was already special for Kenya, but they decided to make it even more special, registering their first victory in an ODI as well as in a World Cup match. The 20th match of Wills World Cup saw a strong West Indies (boasting Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose) getting crushed by the newcomers by a whopping 73-run margin despite being bowled out for 166. Rajab Ali and Maurice Odumbe were heroes of the victory as West Indies were bowled out for 93. READ:When Australia survived the Aasif Karim scare

2. Highest opening partnership of the time: Kenyan openers Dipak Chudasama and Kennedy Otieno created history the year after in the President’s Cup (which also involved Zimbabwe). Kenya played Bangladesh in the opening match, and Chudasama and Otieno added 225 runs, the highest ODI opening stand at that point. Kenya won the match by a huge margin of 150 runs.

3. Defeating Sri Lanka in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup: Kenya started off their 2003 World Cup 2003 by being thrashed by South Africa. They got back on track with a strong performance as they beat Canada in the very next match, but the first significant victory came against Sri Lanka. Otieno helped with 60 as Kenya put up 210. Sri Lanka failed to chase despite boasting greats like Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene as Collins Obuya ran through them with a five-wicket haul.

4. Win over Zimbabwe in the Super Sixes match: With an above-average performance, Kenya qualified for the Super Sixes of World Cup 2003. They started off the round with a defeat to India, but bounced back with the next match defeating Zimbabwe, who were were bowled out for 133 — courtesy three-fors from Martin Suji and Collins Obuya.

5. The day Aasif Karim became unplayable: Kenya’s third Super Sixes match in 2003 were against defending champions Australia. Thanks to Brett Lee’s hat-trick, Kenya could only post a target of 175. Australia cruised to 98 for 2, but Karim decided to make the day his own, taking out Ricky Ponting, Darren Lehmann and Brad Hogg. At one point his figures read 2-2-0-3. Though Australia won the match, they simply could not cope with Karim’s mastery. Karim finished with 8.2-6-7-3, probably the greatest individual performance by a Kenyan, and was named Man of the Match despite the result.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)