Tikolo and Ouma lead Kenyan fightback after early wickets
Having been sent in to bat by the Pakistan Academy, it looked as though September would bring more of the same for a Kenyan batting line up that has struggled for form this year. Making the most of overcast conditions at the Nairobi Gymkhana ground, Anwer Ali had the Kenyans reeling when he removed opener Kennedy Obuya (LBW) and number 3 Rakep Patel (Bowled) without a run showing on the scoreboard. When he struck again to have Kenya's other opener, Alex Obanda (also bowled) out for 12 with the score still only on 17, it was looking like once again the Kenyan batsmen would capitulate.
For once this year, the middle order held firm and Steve Tikolo and Morris Ouma kept their heads to claw Kenya back into the game. Tikolo especially was back to his imperious best as the pair added 171 for the fourth wicket. Oua became Ali's fourth victim of the day when the Pakistani opener had him caught by Ali Asad for a valuable 79. Shortly after Ali picked up his fifth when he trapped Thomas Odoyo (9) in front and again there was a hint of wobble, but again it was the captain, this time with Jimmy Kamande, that steadied the ship.
This time the partnership was 134 as Tikolo sailed past his century to show there is still plenty of fight in the old warrior. Kamande deserved more than to be Ali's sixth wicket of the day when he was caught by Manzoor for 49 with the close of play looming and Pakistan had the last laugh when Tikolo finally fell to Umar Amin for a brilliant 170 in the final over of the day. He had faced 283 balls and stroked 21 fours. Kenya finished on 344-7 and will be very happy to see some of their key players back in form.
Pakistan Academy are now into the Kenyan tail and should wrap up the innings early on in day two. For once Kenya's bowlers have been given the support by their batsmen, now it will be their chance to show what they can do when the back up is actually provided.
SCORECARD AT STUMPS DAY 1
KENNEDY OBUYA LBW ANWER ALI 0
ALEX OBANDA BOWLED ANWER ALI 12
RAKEP PATEL BOWLED ANWER ALI 0
STEVE TIKOLO CT Anjum UMAR AMIN 170
MORRIS OUMA CTAli Asad ANWER ALI 79
THOMAS ODOYO LBW ANWER ALI 4
JIMMY KAMANDE CT Manzoor ANWER ALI 49
HIREN VARAIYA NOT OUT 0
PETER ONGONDO NOT OUT 2
EXTRAS 28 (3lb, 4b, 1w, 20nb)
ANWER ALI 21 1 95 6
JUNAID KHAN 10 2 51 0
MOHAMMAD TALHA 18 0 72 0
IMMAD WASIM 24 2 67 0
RAHEEL MAJEED 12 0 45 0
FAWAD ALAM 2 1 1 0
ASAD SHAFIQ 2 0 4 0
UMAR AMIN 1 0 2 1