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Tikolo, Ravindu fare well in batsman's paradise

Sports Reporter

23 May 1998

Bangladesh bowlers contain Kenya

The mediocre, yet highly discipli-ned, Bangladesh bowling attack came good in the nick of time to restrict Kenya to a modest total of 226 in their second and crucial match of the Coca-Cola Triangular Series at the Chidambaram Stadium in Madras yesterday.

In reply, Bangladesh had their heart in their stomach by losing five wickets for 131 at the end of 31. The run-rate was agreeable but the reckless manner in which they lost the wickets, particularly those of Minhazul Abedin and Akram Khan, was not.

Desperately in search of a win to keep alive their chances for a place in the final, Kenya were at one stage cruising comfortably on 193 before Bangladesh seemed to take away the match from their African rivals by claiming five wickets for 35 runs.

The fate of the bitter battle of the two familiar foes changed dramatically when Hasibul Hossain removed dangerman Steve Tikolo in the 44th over. Tikolo, on 65, was all set to throttle Kenya to an imposing total in the company of vice-captain Maurice Odumbe when Hasibul made the important breakthrough by having the stockily-built right hander brilliantly caught by Enamul Haq at long-on.

Kenya could add another 10 runs to the total after Tikolo's departure before losing the next three wickets at the score of 203. Left-arm spinner Mohammed Rafique, who was party in inflicting the spectacular collapse, took two wickets in successive deliveries, a feat that was dutifully folowed by Hasibul who captured the most-sought after wicket of Odumbe with his first ball of the next over, the 46th.

Rafique first had left-handed Hitesh Modi caught by Enamul Haq at shot-fine leg for nought and then went on to clean-bowl wicketkeper Thomas Odoyo, who was out for a first ball duck. Hasibul, who earlier did a fantastic job with the new ball, then effectively evaporated Kenya's hopes of a big score by removing Odumbe, the last recognised Kenyan batsmen. Odumbe scored a patient 40 off 62 balls with the help of only one four.

Skipper Akram Khan, although having lost the toss in the afternoon, did a wonderful job by rotating his bowlers with great aplomb. His imagination eventually paid off when the portly Bangladesh captain showed his proficiency by bringing back Khaled Masud into the attack in the last five overs. Mahmud, who coming as the first-change conceded 13 runs in his first two overs, more then justified his skipper's confidence in him by claiming two wickets in the 48th.

Apart from the good work, though belated, by the Bangladeshi bowlers, the batsman-friendly wicket offered some quality display of batsmanship, specially from the Kenyan make-shift opener Ravindu Shah who scored a magnificent 62 off 73 ball punctuated with eight sweetly-timed hits across the rope.

The 25-year-old right-hander, who scored a half-century in his one-day debut against Bangladesh at Mohali on May 14, took no time to justify his elevation from number six to a permanent place as opener by playing some authoritative and elegant shots all over the wicket.

Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh
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Date-stamped : 24 May1998 - 18:25