Zim crush Kenya in last group game
Zimbabwe crushed Kenya by 161 runs in Kolkata on Sunday, to end their World Cup campaign on a high note.
Zimbabwe’s clutch of spinners shared seven wickets, while two run-outs did little to help a grim Kenyan cause.
Nehemiah Odhiambo struck a defiant, belligerent 44 not out of 47 balls, but there was little else offered by the Kenyans, who also waved goodbye to the retiring Steve Tikolo.
"We are disappointed. We wanted to put up a good performance,”Tikolo said. “There were no meaningful partnerships. If the younger guys can take the positives that will be a good thing. I have enjoyed every moment of my career, there have been ups and downs,”he added. “I had a lot of pride in playing for the country.”
Zimbabwe batted first and found themselves 36 for 2 as they lost both openers within the space of five balls, but that paved the way for Tatenda Taibu (53 off 74 balls) and Vusi Sibanda (61 off 57 balls) to add 110 for the third wicket.
Sibanda scored freely, and brought up a fine half-century off 54 balls with a wonderful six over long-on, and looked well set to score a big one. But he was run out horribly by Taibu, as the wicket-keeper looked for a single to point, and then thought better of it.
Taibu would follow soon after, as he attempted another reverse-paddle off James Ngoche, but missed it, and Zimbabwe were suddenly 165 for 4.
Skipper Elton Chigumbura and Craig Ervine then combined in some style, as they clubbed together a stand of 105 in under 15 overs.
Ervine was fluent from the start, and he sped to his half-century off 46 balls, as he smashed a six and nine fours in his knock of 66 off 54 balls.
"I got off to a great start today, we weren't behind the rate, it was good. We just thought, me and Elton, if we bat through the next ten overs, it will leave us in a good position. I just tried to pick the gaps in the Powerplay, I normally don't hit them a long way,” Ervine said as he collected his man-of-the-match award.
Chigumbura struck two massive sixes, and was caught on the fence as he departed for 38, but Zimbabwe were well on their way to 300 by then.
Greg Lamb and Prosper Utseya finished off the innings with more lusty hitting, including 20 off the final over, as they ended on 308 for six.
The Kenyan chase started woefully, as David Obuya – who had left the field after injuring himself whilst keeping – fell for a second ball duck to Chris Mpofu in the first over.
His brother Collins was run out in the fourth over, as he tried to steal a single to short third-man.
Tikolo tucked away a couple of fours through mid-wicket, but his final international innings came to an end when he was struck in front by spinner Ray Price for 10. The Zimbabwean team rushed over to shake his hands, but his Kenyan side was crumbling.
Greg Lamb ( 2 for 21), Price (2 for 20) and Graeme Cremer ( 2 for 28) all found encouragement on a track that turned – albeit slowly – and had variable bounce in the second innings.
Rakep Patel made a steady 24, before he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary off Lamb. Odhiambo was the only other Kenyan batsman to make a fist of it, as he bashed an entertaining 44 not out, despite the carnage at the other end.
It was only a matter of when for Zimbabwe, and the end duly came when Otieno sliced Cremer towards cow-corner, and Mpofu took the catch to seal the 161-run drubbing.
Both sides failed to qualify for the last eight, but Zimbabwe belatedly showed what they are capable of.
"Today we have to take lot of positives, with the bat especially,”a delighted Chigumbura said. “I am happy with the bowling, cannot ask for more. There has been a good atmosphere here, loved the crowds," he added of their World Cup experience.
Kenya: Alex Obanda, David Obuya (wk), Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo (capt), Tanmay Mishra, Thoas Odoyo, Rakep Patel, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Peter Ongondo, Elijah Otieno and James Ngoche.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Vusi Sibanda, Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura (capt), Greg Lamb, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price and Chris Mpofu.