Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Opening batsman Jekon Edness (72) stroked a maiden one-day international (ODI) half century and teenaged off spinner Rodney Trott continued his fine run of form on the African continent by snatching three for 36 to peg down the Kenyan's lower order working in tandem with fellow spinner Dwayne Leverock (two for 33).
But an unbroken tenth-wicket stand between long-time nemesis Steve Tikolo (89) who successfully kept tailender Alfred Luseno (nought not out) off strike as the pressure mounted propelled the Kenyans, chasing Bermuda's modest 168, to victory with 82 balls to spare.
"It was a close one and I think we might've won the match had it not been for silly mistakes in the field that ultimately cost us in the dying stages when the pressure was on," Bermuda manager Lionel Tannock commented. We tied them down and took crucial wickets at crucial stages - but unfortunately our batting let us down again."
The day had begun promisingly for the Islanders who won the toss and elected to bat as openers Edness and Azeem Pitcher (30) gathered 58 runs for the first wicket. But Bermuda's 'brittle' middle order was again ruthlessly picked apart by third change bowler Luseno who produced a remarkable spell that quickly reduced the Islanders to 59 for four.
For the second straight match the mercurial Lionel Cann, promoted up the order to number three, failed to bother the scorers while skipper Romaine also made a duck after seemingly breaking into form the day before during Saturday's three-wicket loss that enabled Kenya to clinch the best of three ODI series.
All rounder Janeiro Tucker (28) and vice captain David Hemp (11) both had good starts at the crease but failed to them into a potentially match-winning innings. Along with the watchful Edness, whose 122-ball knock included eight boundaries, Tucker added 56 runs for the sixth-wicket to momentarily revive the innings. But once the Southampton Rangers player/coach was bowled, with the score at 154, Bermuda's remaining four -wickets fell for the addition of only 13 runs.
Luseno's superb haul of four for 32 off six overs carried the Kenyans attack along with Hiren Varaiya's equally impressive three for ten off four overs that removed the sting from the Islander's tail.
But in reply Kenya made a pile of it as Bermuda were determined not to go down without a fight. New ball partners and under-19 national team cricketers Malachi Jones (two for 23) and Kyle Hodsoll (one for 28) combined to have Kenya on the ropes at 85 for five with the on-form Thomas Odoyo (four) among those back in the pavilion.
But Tikolo, who smashed seven fours and a six off 81 balls, shared in a vital 46-run sixth-wicket stand with James Kamande (22) that momentarily knocked Bermuda off stride. The Islanders, however, regained control as Leverock and Trott chipped away at the Kenyans lower order to leave them standing on shaky ground at 141 for eight and the match hanging in the balance.
But Tikolo, playing in his 101st ODI, had the final say as he eventually put up the shutters to see the Kenyans safely to victory and condemn Bermuda to their fourth straight loss on tour.
On Saturday, meanwhile, skipper Romaine responded to critics who are calling for his head following a lean spell with the bat by nudging an unbeaten 69 and sharing in a 76-run, sixth-wicket stand with Janeiro Tucker (49) that rescued the Islanders from a perilous 14 for four in the ninth over after being sent into bat.
Romaine rounded back into form with a circumspect 61 achieved off 131 balls and found good support from Tucker - who helped himself to a serving of five fours and a six off 71 balls - and youngsters Malachi Jones (27) and Rodney Trott (25) who continue to upstage some of their team's more senior batsmen on tour.
Romaine, who swatted five boundaries, added 49 runs with the consistent Trott for the seventh-wicket and another 39 runs for the eight wicket with Jones to give the innings some semblance of respectability.
Openers Stephen Outerbridge and Jekon Edness as well as vice-captain David Hemp and Lionel Cann were all dismissed for ducks as Kenya's opening bowler Thomas Odoyo sliced through the top order with the new ball.
Odoyo was Kenya's chief destroyer, claiming three for seven off seven overs with three maidens. And he was superbly backed up by James Kamande (two for 53) and Hiren Varaiya, who took two for 25.
Bermuda also enjoyed early success during the Kenyans reply as they had their hosts on the rack at 125 for five. But a 49-run seventh-wicket stand between Nehemiah Odhiambo (21) and Lameck Onyango (34 not out) carried Kenya to the brink of the series clinching three-wicket victory that was eventually achieved with 53 balls to spare.
The Islanders, who bowled tidily in giving up a stingy three runs in extras, were led by left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock who took three for 28 off ten overs with three maidens and pacer Kevin Hurdle (two for 44) who took his overall wicket haul on tour to eight.
Bermuda and Kenya will now face off in the Intercontinental Cup in Nairobi November 1.