ICC Media Release
Kenya suffered a few scares along the way but maintains overall control after day one of its ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Namibia at Sharjah Stadium on Tuesday.
Steve Tikolo's decision to field first must have seemed entirely vindicated when his bowlers dismissed Namibia for just 183, with no batsman making it safely to 50.
Photo at right: Raymond van Schoor of Namibia is dropped by Kenya's second slip Maurice Ouma off the bowling of Nehemiah Odhiambo. (Photo courtesy of ICC/Aziz Shah)
But when it came to Kenya's turn to bat, it did not fare much better and was reduced to 42-4 before Tikolo and Collins Obuya steadied things. Tikolo was dismissed for a run-a-ball 45 with the score on 108 and then ICC Associate ODI Player of the Year for 2007 Thomas Odoyo took up the mantle, making sure Kenya got to 148-5 by the close, just 36 runs short of an innings lead.
Obuya is clearly looking to play the anchor role in the Kenya innings, having compiled 30 watchful runs off 85 balls faced. Earlier Maurice Ouma had looked good for his 32 before being caught by Louis Burger but David Obuya and Alex Obanda both went without scoring while Tony Suji only managed five before being bowled by Louis Klazinga.
Just as he was in last week's match against the United Arab Emirates, 22-year-old Klazinga was the pick of the Namibia bowlers, finishing the day with figures of 2-35.
Earlier in the day, a number of the Namibia batsmen got starts but none was able to turn that into a meaningful contribution with only Raymond van Schoor (39) and Tobias Verwey (43 not out) showing any real intent.
The rest of this match could be dominated by the slow bowlers as even on day one, Kenya's spin duo of Hiren Varaiya and Tikolo took three wickets apiece as Namibia collapsed from 117-4 to 137-8 and, eventually, 183 all out.
Namibia currently sits just behind Kenya at the top of the table and will still be confident it can get back into contention on day two. An early wicket or two will heap the pressure back on to Kenya. Play in Sharjah resumes at 0930, local time.