Kenya's top-order put on a gritty display of batting to deprive Andhra Pradesh of a win by forcing a draw in the first three-day match that concluded at the Simba Union ground yesterday. On the final day, the visitors set the hosts a target of 444 to win, thanks largely to a 100 from M. Prajeet and useful contributions from Jyothi Sai Krishna (37) and Ajay Kumar (25). Then the Lankan line-up played out 43 overs, losing just 3 wickets for a score of 127.
Resuming play on the final day at 19/0, Andhra Pradesh set about building on their lead of 263. Prajeet and Krishna picked up from the overnight scores of 10 and 7 respectively, as the former batsman struck two fours off Shem Obado in the 15th over and two overs later subjected the hapless spinner to similar treatment, as Andhra's score moved to 154/4 at lunch.
Then in the 29th over, Prajeet went after Runish Gudhka, slamming him for two more boundaries. Krishna's hand of 37 came to an end in the 36th over as Gudhka had him caught by David Obuya 66 balls. New batsman Shiva Kumar upped the ante, clobbering James Ngoche for three fours in the following over as the visitors looked to declare.
The new man in the middle Shiva, tried to push things along, but immediately after dispatching Gudhka to the fence, he was packed off by the same bowler for 20 with Andhra stuttering. That was when Andhra declared - at 200/4 in 46.1 overs, setting Kenya a target of 445. Kenya's second innings got off to a seemingly positive start with Rakep Patel showing good intent early on.
But in the fifth over, Kenya lost opener David Obuya bowled by B. Sudhakar at backward point for 1 as the Kenyan score read 14/1. The surviving opener Patel and Karan Kaul then began rebuilding slowly, taking the score to 37/1 in 13 overs.
In the 19th over, Patel smacked B. Sudhakar for two boundaries to take the score past 50/2. In the 25th over, Patel looked to move the score along by smashing Bharath Reddy for two fours, making the score 79/2.
Patel had his good moments at the crease, striking Reddyto the boundary twice in the 36th over. He and skipper Collins Obuya who joined him after the departure of Kaul trapped on 6 by Sudhakar played out 10 more overs, taking Kenya to 183/3 in 46 overs when the match ended and a draw had been secured.
The two teams take a break today before re-uniting on Sunday in two-back to back Twenty20 matches at the Nairobi Club ground.