Tikolo again in the runs as Kenya look for victory on day four
Another fine captain's knock from Steve Tikolo has ensured that Kenya go into the fourth and final day of their match against the Pakistan Academy with victory within their grasp. Tikolo stroked a fine 94, but other than Rakep Patel (33) received little support from the rest of the batting line up.
Resuming on 15/1 the youngsters Alex Obanda and Rakep Patel took the score to 54 before Obanda perished for 22. Joined by his captain, Patel was the next to go with the score on 83 and Ouma followed not long after trapped in front by Mohammed Tahla.
Tikolo then played the leading role in three vital partnerships that took Kenya to a reasonable total. Vice Captain Thomas Odoyo faced 22 balls for his 9 runs as Tikolo hit out at the other end, but their partnership added 47 runs before Odoyo found himself caught by Naeem Anjum off the bowling of Anwer Ali.
Jimmy Kamande (23) joined his skipper in a more even handed partnership, adding 23 of the 57 runs before he too was out after making a good start. Hiren Varaiya the played the stayer in a 48 run partnership while Tikolo went in search of his second century for the game. Unfortunately for Kenya, it was not to be with the skipper caught by Immad Wasim off Junaid Khan for 94.
Kenya's score was 232 and remained so as first Peter Ongondo and then hiren Varaiya followed Tikolo back to the pavilion. Unlike the first innings where the Kenyan tail rolled over, this time the went on the attack with Elijah Otieno and Alfred Luseno both improved on their previous First Class bests adding a quick fire 36 before Luseno was the last to fall for 20 made off just 11 balls. Otieno finished unbeaten on 18.
Pakistan's reply was lead once again by Khuram Manzoor who added 54* to his century from the previous innings. Chasing 364 to win and maintain their unbeaten tour to Africa, Manzoor lost both Umar Amin - caught by Rakep Patel off Otieno for 5 with the score on 26 and then Asad Shafiq who edged Hiren Varaiya to Tikolo in the slips for 10 with the score on 62. Anwer Ali who had earlier taken three wickets joined his captain as night watchman and the visitors ended the day without further loss.
Going into the final day, Pakistan Academy need a further 288 runs, while Kenya need 8 more wickets. With a full day's play expected a result is almost certain and both teams will back themselves in with with a chance. Pakistan will need someone to step up and support Manzoor whose wicket will be key for the hosts. Kenya will no doubt look to their seamers to make inroads during the morning session, but the bulk of the work will most likely fall to the spin trio of Varaiya, Tikolo and Kamande. It should be an enthralling finish to a very good match.
Kenya 372 (Tikolo 170, Ouma 79, Kamande 49, Ali 7/97) & 268 (Tikolo 94, Ali 3/50)
Pakistan Academy 277 (Manzoor 123, Varaiya 4/66, Ongondo 3/29, Tikolo 3/63) & 76/2 (Manzoor 54*) by 288 runs with 1 day to play.