Kenya delivered a telling blow to Ireland in a 7-wicket victory in a World Cricket League Championship ODI match played at the Mombasa Sports Club on Saturday.
The tourists won the toss and chose to bat first in an innings that swung both ways, initially to the Irish as they controlled the early proceedings and then to the Kenyans later on as the ball wore and the spinners were able to grip it better and effectively deliver the wickets to disrupt the Irish innings.
Paul Stirling gave the Irish a real impetus upfront as he scored 46 from 44 balls to help his side to 74 for 1 inside 13 overs and was later joined by Kevin O’Brien (39) in a 58 run-partnership that threatened to tilt the game in favour of the table toppers.
The pair was separated when they seemed to want to build on from their solid foundation and apart from John Mooney’s contribution of 21 in the lower-order the rest of the tail-end batsmen failed to cope with the Kenyan bowlers as they set a target of 201.
Kenya began their chase slowly but picked up the run-rate in the middle overs as man of the match Tanmay Mishra scored a classy 70 off 76 balls with some deft touches in and around the in-field complimented by straight drives to the long-on boundary of the quickies.
He lost Collins Obuya (29) to a run out in a risky single as the two began to dominate the ball in a third wicket stand that yielded 58 runs and was later joined by Rakep Patel whom they together saw the job with 44 balls to spare. Patel helping himself to a healthy 42 from 53 deliveries to seal the victory for the East Africans.