Alex Obanda’s 47-ball 79 guided Kenya to a 7-wicket win over Italy in the ongoing ICC World Cup Twenty20 Qualifiers at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The Italians had set a decent target of 146 batting first thanks to a second wicket partnership of 61 between Gareth Berg (60 not out) and Peter Petricola (32), the former contributing some six fours and one six in the process while a run-a-ball from the latter supported the innings well.
Once the pair was separated by Kenyan skipper Collins Obuya who ended with figures of 2 for 23 there was no way back for the Italians as the Africans exerted continued pressure mainly from the spin quad of Hiren Varaiya, the Ngoche brothers (Shem and James) and Obuya.
In their chase, Kenya was off to a flying start through Obanda and Duncan Allan, Obanda the more aggressive of the pair with 12 fours and two sixes to his name while Allan played a patient unbeaten 41 to see the side home with 13 balls to spare.
Kenya next face the rampant Namibians on Sunday in a must win game for the East Africans if they harbour any hopes of progressing from the group stage.
Kenya beat Italy by seven wickets at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Italy 145-3, 20 overs (Gareth Berg 60 not out, Peter Petricola 32; Collins Obuya 2-23)
Kenya 146-3, 17.5 overs (Alex Obanda 79, Duncan Allan 41 not out; Damian Crowley 2-21)
Man of the match: Alex Obanda (Kenya)