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Kenya secure historic victory

March 12, 2003 20:48 IST
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Kenya secured an historic seven wicket victory over fellow-Africans Zimbabwe on Wednesday to become the first non-Test nation to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals.

Thomas Odoyo struck a powerful 43 as Kenya easily reached their meagre victory target of 134 in the Super Six match. He shared an unbeaten partnership of 73 with Maurice Odumbe (38 not out) as the Kenyans won with 24 overs to spare.

Kenya, who have still to meet the unbeaten defending champions Australia in the second round, will play India in the semi-finals. Zimbabwe were eliminated.

"Our target was the Super Sixes but then we reviewed our target," said captain Steve Tikolo. Kenya took 10 points through to the second round after beating Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They were awarded four points when New Zealand refused to play in Nairobi because of security fears.

"We just decided to go out and be positive," Odumbe said. "Normally low scores are very tricky so we just decided if there was a ball to hit we would hit it.

"It's a great feeling and I'm sure people back home are happy."

For Zimbabwe only Andy Flower came to terms with the slow pitch and accurate bowling, scoring 63 as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 133 off 44.1 overs. It was their lowest total in 15 matches against Kenya, who had never beaten them before.

Opening bowler and man-of-the-match Martin Suji dismissed Craig Wishart (5), Alistair Campbell (7) and Grant Flower (7).

Leg spinner Collins Obuya then had wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu caught behind for three with the fifth ball of his first over, Dion Ebrahim stumped for 13 and captain Heath Streak caught at slip for a duck.

Andy Blignaut was run out for four after a horrible mix-up with Andy Flower and Flower was bowled by Odoyo.

"Credit must go to Kenya, they stuck to their disciplines as they have done all tournament," said Streak. "Unfortunately our batters got out to some soft shots."

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