Match Report: Canada v Kenya
The day started with Steve Tikolo winning the toss and choosing to put Canada in to bat first. The Canadian openers did well to see off the opening overs and score well, reaching 40 for no loss before Abdool Samad was caught by Steve Tikolo at backward square leg.
Geoff Barnett (41) was looking a real danger man for Canada, and had just opened up with 20 runs off one Nehemiah Odhiambo over, but was spectacularly caught on the boundary by Tanmay Mishra for 41.
The Kenyan spinners - Jimmy Kamande, Hiren Varaiya, and even skipper Steve Tikolo did brilliantly to restrict the Canadian run rate in the middle overs, while at the same time taking Canadian wickets. Kamande bowled both John Davison and Qaiser Ali with quicker balls, and had figures of 2-25 from his 10 overs of work.
Sunil Dhaniram gave himself and the rest of the Canadian bowlers hope with a late 34 runs off 35 balls, doing a good job marshalling the rest of the tail. However, it was always going to be a difficult target to defend, on a pitch where 249 is the average score.
Steve Tikolo had said he expected some seam early, but there was none there. His spinners (including himself) bailed him out though. Kenya came into their innings needing exactly four runs per over to win.
The Kenyan innings got off to a flyer of a start, led by Maurice Ouma. He made 58 before holing out to Asif Mulla at mid-off, a score beaten only by his captain Tikolo. The Canadian bowlers were close, but missed the edge closely several times.
Through the middle of the innings, we saw the real difference between the Kenyan and Canadian batsmen. While the Canadians had stagnated and played defensively against spin, the Kenyans were brilliant at nudging balls into gaps and taking many single runs. That, coupled with bad balls going for boundaries, led to an easy win.
Steve Tikolo was full value for his man of the match honours - 2 for 34 with the ball, and 72 not out with the bat is just a brilliant performance.
Canada have to be disappointed by two things specifically - wides and fielding. The Canadian bowlers gave up an astounding 18 wides. The fielders also gave up a number of runs through their mistakes, and missed a couple of run out chances with wayward throws.
Kenya will be full of confidence after this one, and will be excited heading into their match against New Zealand on Tuesday. Canada will be hitting the nets hard before taking on England on Sunday.