Kenya got off to a winning start in the ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup Global qualifiers when they beat Vanuatu by a massive 133 runs in Dublin, Ireland yesterday.
The rain affected game was reduced to 38 overs due to a wet outfield. Kenya winning the toss opted to bat first and despite an early set back of losing Rushabh Patel for nought, they were off to a flyer through skipper Kennedy Ochieng’s (85 not out) and one-down sensation Duncan Allan who contributed 47 runs off just 38 deliveries.
Irfan Karim was next in line after the fall off Allan putting up a fine 54 runs that put paid to Vanuatu’s hope of restricting Kenya to a gettable total. Owino’s innings included 7 fours off 114 balls while Allan’s quick-fire innings included 8 boundaries.
In their chase Vanuatu got off to a disastrous start courtesy of Allan’s fiery 6-over opening spell that yielded 2 wickets for 17 runs and earned him the man of the match award. He helped reduce the Islanders to 25 runs for the loss of 4 wickets.
But it was Rahul Vishram’s 4 wickets for 9 runs off his 4.3 over-spell that eventually put the game to bed for the young Kenyans. He was ably assisted by Vinit Shikotra off-spin that accounted for two more wickets for 26 runs conceded.
Most importantly the Kenyans earned a valuable 2 points and achieved a positive platform to build on through the tournament. The Kenyans play Canada today in their second match of the event.