Kenya halt Afghanistan's victory roll

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Resurgent Kenya halted the victory roll of giantkillers Afghanistan on Saturday with a 107-run win in the 2011 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Updated: April 05, 2009 18:20 IST
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Resurgent Kenya halted the victory roll of giantkillers Afghanistan on Saturday with a 107-run win in the 2011 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

The full-time professionals from east Africa compiled a daunting 282-5 in their alloted 50 overs with Kennedy Obuya hitting an undefeated 109 in the north-west university town of Potchefstroom.

Facing their first major test of the final qualifying tournament for the World Cup, Afghanistan surrendered five wickets for 62 runs and were all out for 175 after 47 overs.

After Group B victories over Denmark and Bermuda, this was a reality check for a young Afghan team that honed its skills as refugees in neighbouring Pakistan after fleeing conflict in their homeland.

They face unpredictable Netherlands and United Arab Emirates early next week and a top-four finish in the six-team mini-league will take them through to the Super Eights.

The teams finishing first to fourth in the second pool phase secure places at the World Cup scheduled for Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with Australia defending the title.

Kenya, shock first-day losers to Netherlands, had 87 runs on the board before losing opener Morris Ouma (35) and the total reached 175 before the Afghan bowlers claimed another wicket with Alex Obanda (60) the victim.

But the team that reached South Africa by winning qualifying tournaments in Jersey, Tanzania and Argentina, had no answer to the batting of Obuya, whose 136-ball knock included 11 fours and one six.

Opener Karim Sadiq, a key contributor with ball and bat to the two victories in South Africa, flopped this time, making just eight runs before being caught by Obuya off the bowling of Peter Ogondo.

Afghanistan continued to struggle and only middle-order Mohammad Nabi (56) made a significant contribution against a Kenyan attack in which Thomas Odoyo (3-29) and Hiren Varaiya (2-29) performed best.

With Netherlands losing a thriller against UAE by two wickets, there are no unbeaten teams in Group B and only pointless Denmark appear out of contention for a Super Eights slot.

Pre-tournament favourites Ireland and confident Canada boast 100 percent records in Group A after comfortable victories over Uganda and Namibia respectively.

But Scotland, defending champions in the quadrennial tournament, got a fright against bottom-of-the-table Oman, winning by just nine runs at Wits University in Johannesburg.

Neil McCallum, a centurion in his previous two outings, managed only nine runs, but Kyle Coetzer (127) and Navdeep Poonia (79) helped the Scots compile 274-9 in 50 overs.

A 70-run knock from opener Maqsood Hussain and 50 from Zeeshan Siddiqui set up Oman for a thrilling run chase that lifted the Gulf state to 265-9 when they ran out of overs.

Highlight of the six-match Monday programme will be the clash of Ireland and Canada.

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