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India beat Kenya by 4 wickets

Sports Reporter

20 May 1998

Ajay Jadeja celebrated his first outing as Indian skipper with almost a run-a-ball fifty as India ambled to a four-wicket victory against Kenya in the third match of the Coca Cola Triangular Series at Bangalore last night. Replying to Kenya's 223 for nine, India reached the winning target (224 for six) in 47 overs with wicketkeeper M S K Prasad unbeaten on 11 and Robin Singh on two.

The mainstay of the Indian innings was a sound 89 from Gagan Khoda in only his second international, an effort enough to earn him the man-of-the-match award. Besides Jadeja's 50 Rahul Dravid did well with the bat to return with 49.

Winning the toss, Jadeja asked Asif Karim and company to bat. Despite early promises of a big score, Kenya crumbled and challenged India with a modest score. Till around the 40th over India were under no pressure whatsoever and picked up the runs at leisure with Kenya's bowling lacking penetration. But, in a strange turn of the match, India lost four quick wickets to put them under some late pressure.

This was India's second victory in as many matches. For Kenya it was their second consecutive defeat. Bangladesh, the other team in the fray, have won against Kenya and lost to India. The next match is on May 23 at Chennai where Bangladesh play Kenya.

Kenya give India a match

Steve Tikolo scored a brilliant half-century to help Kenya put up a challenging total against India in their second match of the Coca-Cola Triangular Series at Bangalore yesterday. In reply, India were not really comfortable at the end of 28 overs when their score read 124 for 2 with Gagan Khoda on 55 and Ajay Jadeja on one. Rahul Dravid was the second wicket to fall after he had scored 48 and put on 98 runs for the second wicket with Khoda.

Earlier, Tikolo scored a dazzling 77 off 92 balls punctuated with five fours and a sixer to lay the foundation after Kenya lost their opener Kennedy Otieno for a duck. It was Tikolo's third fifty in over-limit competition.

Coming into bat at number three with Kenya giddy at seven for one, the stockily-built right- hander shared 63 runs for the second wicket with Dipak Chudasama before the latter departed for an aggressive 32 off 40 balls embellished with five fours.

The most enterprising part of the Kenyan innings came when Maurice Odumbe joined Tikolo to produce 82 runs for the third wicket. With the experienced batsmen playing confidently, Kenya were at one stage heading for a total past the 250-mark. But the complexion of the game changed sharply when Tikolo was holed out in the deep by Rahul Sanghvi while going for a big sixer over mid-wicket.

Odumbe, who scored a disciplined 47 off 86 balls, tried to steady the innings in the company of left-hander Hitesh Modi with whom he put on 23 runs for the fourth wicket. But when Modi was clean bowled by left-arm seamer Sanghvi and Odumbe fell to a brilliant diving catch by wicket-keeper Prasad, Kenya's hopes for a commanding total was well and truly over.

After Odumbe departed in the 42nd over with his side on 184 for five, Kenya could manage only 37 runs from the last eight overs in the face of some imaginative bowling from off-spinner Kanitkar, who gripped the tail to finish with two for 46 in his 10 overs. Although Kanitkar along with right-arm seamer Agarkar and Sanghvi finished with two wickets apiece it was Robin Singh who returned with the most impressive figures of two for only 24 runs in his eight niggling overs.

Source: The Daily Star, Bangladesh
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Date-stamped : 21 May1998 - 14:42