Tigers tamed

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bangladesh suffered a jolt just before the tournament proper when they crashed to Kenya by six wickets in the last warm-up game ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.

The brittle batting cost the loss at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni yesterday, which enabled the Kenyans not only to avenge their five-wicket defeat at home in a four-nation tune-up tourney last week but also snapped the Tigers' recent supremacy over them.

Since their 2003 World Cup defeat to Kenya, interestingly also on South African soil, Bangladesh won all their seven one-day internationals against the ICC associate members.

Kenyan skipper Steve Tikolo's decision to bowl first on a lively strip paid off when Mohammed Ashraful's men, who blew Scotland away in the first warm-up game on Saturday, were bundled out for 116 with twenty-two balls to spare.

The Bangladesh batting has had been all but a one man show in the last four build-up encounters with young opener Nazimuddin dazzling in an otherwise poor top-order show.

And the Chittagonian's quick dismissal for five runs meant his side succumbed to the lowest total in the ongoing Africa trip despite his opening partner Tamim Iqbal offered some resistance during his 56 off 41 balls that contained one six and eight boundaries.

Dashing left-hander Tamim, however, got no support from the other end as Aftab Ahmed was the second highest scorer with 17. Nadif Chowdhury was the other batsman to reach the double digit with 12.

The top order was even put to the test by a team like Uganda in Kenya, where Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's late rally rescued them but there was no such act in the match.

The form of skipper Ashraful was more frustrating as the right-hander continued his poor run scoring only one on the back of an unimpressive aggregate of 60 runs in the previous four games.

Thomas Odoyo dismissed big hitters Nazimuddin and Aftab to set the tone on way to take 2-21 and he was backed up by fellow right-arm pacer Nehemiah Odhiambo, who took 3-37.

Kenya batted sensibly to achieve the small target as the Obuya brothers -- David and Collins -- added 41 in eight overs for the opening wicket while Tikolo provided the acceleration during his 36 off 38 balls that helped his side reach home with one ball remaining.

Ashraful picked up two wickets for 19 runs.

Bangladesh will play their first match of the World Championship against West Indies on September 13 and hosts South Africa on September 15 in their final Group A encounter.

BANGLADESH: 116 all out in 16.3 overs (Tamim 56, Nazimuddin 5, Aftab 17, Ashraful 1, Shakib 2, Kapali 3, Nadif 12, Mushfiqur 2, Mashrafe 5, Forhad 3 not out, Rasel 4, extras 6; Odoyo 2-21, Odhiambo 3-37, Onyango 2-19, Bhudia 2-24).

KENYA: 117 for 4 in 19.5 overs (Obuya 21, C Obuya 16, Mishra 16, Tikolo 36, Odoyo 13 not out, Obanda 9 not out, extras 6; Rasel 1-22, Ashraful 2-19, Forhad 1-19).

Result: Kenya won by six wickets.

Toss: Kenya.