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India v Kenya

Match pictures:

Audio Interview

Wicket 1
A classy inswinging yorker that cannons into the base of the lefthanded Muhammad Sheikh's off stump as he hopefully but belatedly brings the willow down.
Wicket 2
Two balls later comes virtually an action replay, if anything it's pitched even fuller of a length, and Hitesh Modi looks back to see his off stump uprooted.
Wicket 3
Zaheer mixes it up with a slower one that fools the batsman Martin Suji into going through early with a forcing shot on the onside and spooning it to Ganguly at midwicket.
Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan

Born: 7 October 1978, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Major Teams: Baroda, Mumbai.
Batting Style: Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Left Arm Medium Fast

Zaheer Khan made an impressive debut for India in the opening match of the ICC KnockOut at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi today. Just four days short of his 22nd birthday, the slim, trim paceman from Baroda generated some disconcerting pace and bounce on a wicket that offered plenty of encouragement for the quickies. Skipper Sourav Ganguly's confidence in the lad was clear when he gave him the new ball ahead of seasoned pros like Venkatesh Prasad and Ajit Agarkar. Zaheer hardly betrayed any nerves on the biggest occasion yet of his nascent career, looking cool and collected and keeping the batsmen on their toes all the time.

Having gone wicketless in his first two spells, Zaheer returned for a third and decisive spell which firmly put the lid on any ambitions Kenya had of stepping on the accelerator in the late overs. Two lovely yorkers in three balls that swung in just a shade speared into the off stumps of left handers Muhammad Sheikh and Hitesh Modi. Certainly no Indian quick bowler in recent memory has consistently pitched the ball right up in the blockhole in the slog overs. Zaheer also used some deceptive change of pace, snaring Martin Suji, his third victim, with a slower ball that went down Ganguly's throat at midwicket as the Kenyan challenge fizzled out in the end.

Although a perfect gentleman off the field, the aggro he displayed at the dismissal of his first two scalps and the general willingness to angle the ball into the batsman's body augurs well for India's hunt for a genuine speedster to step into the vacuum created by Javagal Srinath's absence. Ganguly also handed him the ball for the 50th over, another overt gesture of confidence in his rookie quick, and throughout the innings Zaheer responded admirably to the trust reposed in him by his captain.

Spirit of Africa