Canada overcomes Kenya at Cricket World Cup
Canada chased down Kenya's 198 to win by five wickets at the Cricket World Cup in Delhi, India, on Monday.
Jimmy Hansra (70) and Canadian captain Ashish Bagai (64 not out) led the chase with a 132-run partnership, offsetting earlier consecutive half-centuries from Tanmay Mishra and Thomas Odoyo.
"It was part of the goal coming in [to beat Kenya]," said Bagai, whose cut over the infield to the boundary provided the decisive four.
"I won't hide it," Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande lamented. "Today is the most disappointing performance we've had at the tournament.
"We could have done much better against Canada. It's very, very hurtful."
Keyed by the spirited tandem of Bagai and Hansra, Canada (1-3) surpassed the 198 all out put forth by Kenya (0-4) with 27 balls to spare for its first win of the tournament and second in 16 World Cup matches overall — having beaten Bangladesh in 2003. "I made sure I made them pay … it was good to be positive at the start," Hansra said.
Canada had struggled to score runs in its first three matches, counting 122, 123 and 138 in losses to Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, respectively.
"We were disappointed with the show in the last few games," Bagai said.
Concern over Canada's absent offence appeared justified at the outset Monday as it was reduced to 48 for three, with Rizman Cheema removed in the fourth over and Zubin Surkari and Ravindu Gunasekera dismissed in the space of eight balls before Bagai and Hansra settled in.
Hansra was particularly effective with seven fours — same as Bagai — and two of Canada's three sixes by the time he was removed, with Canada needing 19 runs.
"I hit the shots that I was comfortable with, pushed the field back and rotated the singles in the middle," Hansra said.
Cheema accounted for Canada's other six at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
"We were fortunate to have no run-rate pressure," Bagai said. "Once you were in, you could rotate the strike. "At the end, it was just about milking them around. Glad we put this under our belt and got some confidence out of it."
Canadian fast bowler Henry Osinde opened with a 3-7 burst in four overs — removing Morris Ouma, Seren Waters and David Obuya — before Mishra got untracked with a maiden World Cup century for Kenya, which won the toss and elected to bat first.
Osinde finished with a career-best 4-26, while medium-pace bowlers Harvir Baidwan and Cheema contributed to Canada's cause with a pair of wickets apiece.
"Henry bowled fantastic first up, got us the advantage and then we pulled it back … and two guys batted well to get us over the line," Bagai said.
"The whole World Cup, our bowlers have done a fantastic job — and our fielding, too," Hansra noted. "Our batting had let us down, so I'm happy that we worked things out."
Mishra hit three fours — 33 of his 51 runs were singles — and Odoyo had five fours and a six to puff Kenya's total before he was baffled by a Baidwan yorker.
"Although we had 198, we still believed we could defend that," Kamande muttered. "One crucial catch was dropped and the guy [Hansra] capitalized on that."
Next up for Canada is New Zealand on March 13, followed by three-time defending champion Australia three days later.
With files from The Canadian Press