Voice of Sport

Kenya cricket in worst-ever thrashing as Pakistan ‘A’ take 3-0 series lead

Such is the Pakistani dominance that the tourists are bamboozled, match-after -match at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore

KENYA crashed to perhaps their biggest defeat in world cricket when they scored only 51 runs in just 22 overs to lose by 214 runs against Pakistan ‘A’ in Lahore on Tuesday.

Pakistan ‘A’ took an unassailable 3-0 series of the five 45-over match series against the tourists. Remaining matches are on Friday and Saturday.

Third match 3-0

In the latest match, left-arm pacer Ziaul Haq bowled Pakistan ‘A’ to a resounding 214-run victory at the Gaddafi Stadium.

There had been several changes in the Pakistan ‘A’ line-up, with star players Sharjeel Khan, Muhammad Talha, Imran Khan and Raza Hasan resting after the first two matches while the youngsters were given a chance.

Toss

Kenya won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first, but the decision eventually went against the tourists as the home team managed to score 265-5 in their 45 overs.

Babar Azam top-scored with 97 runs off 117 balls as he struck 12 boundaries and a six, and skipper Fawad Alam remained unbeaten on a 61-ball 84, hitting 10 strikes to the fence in the process.

Reply

In reply, Kenya were sent packing in almost no time as their first five wickets — four picked up by Zia and one by Shehzad Alam — fell for just seven runs in five overs.

Zia then took his fifth wicket in the seventh over when he removed Nehemiah Odhiambo (nine) and Kenya were reduced to 13-6.

Skipper Shem Ngoche (11) and Lucas Oluoch (18) were the only batsmen to reach double figures as the visitors were bowled out for 51 in just 22 overs. Apart from Zia and Alam, leg-spinner Shahzaib Ahmed claimed three wickets, while all-rounder Zafar Gohar bagged one scalp.

Second match 2-0

International batsman Sharjeel Khan showed he was still optimistic of making the final 15-man Pakistan squad for the 2015 World Cup after his whirlwind century helped Pakistan ‘A’ defeat Kenya by 155 runs in their second match of the series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The 25-year-old left-hander has represented Pakistan in 11 ODIs and three T20Is so far in his international career, which started off brightly but lost momentum as the batsman failed to perform consistently.

Presence

Though he is not a part of the current ODI team playing against New Zealand, he wants to make a strong statement against Kenya to keep reminding the selection committee of his presence.

And that is exactly what he did in the second match as his century powered Pakistan ‘A’, batting first, to 314-5 in 45 overs. Sharjeel hammered 138 off 120 deliveries while Babar Azam and skipper Fawad Alam also scored half-centuries.

Removed

Such was his dominance that Sami Aslam could only contribute 19 in a 77-run opening stand. Pakistan then lost two wickets on consecutive deliveries as Lucas Oluoch first removed Aslam and then Fazal Subhan on the very next ball, but Sharjeel continued in the same fashion and built a 128-run stand with Alam, who made 52, to put Pakistan in strong position.

After Sharjeel was dismissed, Babar took on the responsibility of aggressor and made an unbeaten 64 of 34 balls, while Muhammad Rizwan finished unbeaten on 24.

Dismissal

In reply, Kenya were bamboozled by leg-spinner Shahzaib Ahmed and were dismissed for just 159 in 41.3 overs.

Opener Alex Obanda took the attack to the hosts, scoring a 31-ball 36, but eventually fell to Muhammad Talha.

Boundaries

His dismissal took the wind out of Kenya’s sails and all other batsmen except Elijah Otieno struggled against the home bowling line-up. Otieno played a 39-run cameo, hitting one six and five boundaries in his innings, but it was too little avail.

The dynamic Shahzaib picked up three wickets, conceding just 20 runs in his nine overs, as the Kenyans struggled against his variations. Alam and Talha also claimed two scalps each.

First match 1-0

Pacer Muhammad Talha and left-arm spinner Raza Hasan picked up four wickets apiece to set up a comfortable nine-wicket for Pakistan ‘A’ against Kenya in the first of the five 45-over match series.

The hosts won the toss and skipper Fawad Alam opted to bowl first in order to get the most out of favourable conditions early on.

Rebuilding

The bowlers did not disappoint as early strikes from Talha and Hasan — removing Alex Obanda (two), Kennedy Owino (11) and Maurice Ouma (12) — left the visitors struggling at 46-3 when Gurdeep Singh and Nelson Odhiambo started the rebuilding process.

The two put up a 76-run stand to give respectability to their team’s total, but Talha’s searing pace once again did the damage as Odhiambo was dismissed after a well-made 44 off 52 balls.

Reduce

Kenya were 122-4 and leg-spinner Shahzaib Ahmed then rattled the stumps twice, bowling out Jimmy Kamande (three) and skipper Shem Ngoche (five), in quick succession to reduce them to 136-6.

Hasan took three more before Gurdeep’s defiant 55-run innings was ended by Talha to dismiss the visitors for 167 in 38.3 overs.

Bowled

In reply, Pakistan lost an early wicket when opener Sharjeel Khan was bowled by Elijah Otieno for just eight.

But Sami Aslam and Fazal Subhan combined to devastating effect by putting on an unbeaten 162-run partnership which saw Pakistan home as they made 170-1 in 28.3 overs.

Sami starred with a 97-ball century, making 101 with two sixes and 11 boundaries, while Fazal chipped in with 56.

– Additional reporting by tribune.com.pk