Only 32 overs and a little over two and a half hours into the game, New Zealand had gone on to register a win in their first game of the competition as they pummelled the Kenyans by 10 wickets at the Chepauk here today.
By Suneer Chowdhary
Chennai: Feb 20, 2011
The casual followers of the World Cup could have been forgiven for thinking that this was a T20 game. Only 32 overs and a little over two and a half hours into the game, New Zealand had gone on to register a win in their first game of the competition as they pummelled the Kenyans by 10 wickets at the Chepauk here today.
Needing 70 to register the win, the Kiwi opening batsmen went about their business in truly workman-like manner. Not allowing the Kenyan bowlers an inch, New Zealand crunched away at the target in eight overs without the loss of any wicket.
Martin Guptill continued to impress as he showed another glimpse of good form with a 32-ball 39 with a couple of sixes while Brendon McCullum made 26 in 17.
Earlier, Kenya had started off well but frittered away the start, to be bowled out for what was their lowest ever ODI score. Jimmy Kamande had won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat first on a track which showed signs that it could assist the spin bowlers.
With the Chennai heat being a factor as well, there wasn’t too much doubt that he had taken the correct decision. Unfortunately for him, the batsmen failed.
At 40 for one, Kenya seemed to have made the right start for the batsmen to build on. They had seen off an opening burst from off-spinner Nathan McCullum and looked to be on course to get their bowlers a total to bowl at.
But in an inspired spell of bowling that reminded one of Mark Gillespie’s performance against the same opposition in the World T20 of 2007, Hamish Bennett ran through the Kenyan middle-order to pick up a four-wicket haul.
The dismissal of Seren Waters was the start of the end of the Kenyan resistance as they fell away to extreme pace and good swing and yorker-length bowling from Bennett. Bennett bowled five overs, conceded 16 runs and captured four sticks.
He could have gone on to get more as well, but captain Daniel Vettori decided to preserve him for the rest of the competition.
Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande commended the New Zealand bowlers for bowling in the areas that had made life difficult for them. Bennett was declared the man-of-the-match and complimented the bowling consultant Allan Donald for the change in the bowling fortunes since being hit out of the park in the warm-up game against India.
New Zealand play their trans-Tasman rivals Australia in their next game next Friday while Kenya will need to lift their game against a resurgent Pakistani side on Wednesday.
Brief scores: Kenya 69 all out in 23.5 overs (Seren Waters 16, Rakep Patel 16*; Hamish Bennett 4 for 16, Jacob Oram 3 for 2, Tim Southee 3 for 13) lost to New Zealand 72 for no loss in eight overs (Martin Guptill 39*, Brendon McCullum 26*, Nehemiah Odhiambo 0 for five) by 10 wickets.
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