Group A: Kenya 159/3 (Karim 71*, Gandhi 50, Amjad Mahboob 2-30) defeated Singapore 157/9 (Surendran 40, Aritra 33, Oluoch 3-22, Otieno 3-29) by 7 wickets

Lucas Oluoch’s stifling last over—in which he conceded just one run and picked up three wickets—combined with an opening stand of 110 between openers Aman Gandhi (on debut) and Irfan Karim propelled Kenya to their second successive win of the qualifiers. Singapore, on the other hand, suffered their second defeat in consecutive days.

Singapore announced one change at the toss, opting for the extra batsman in Rezza Gaznavi in place of off-spinner Selladore Vijaya Kumar as Rohan Rangarajan continued to sit out. Gaznavi was pushed up to open (allowing Tim David to assume regular duties at number 3) and began positively by upper cutting the first ball of the match for 4. He pulled Elijah Otieno to Gondaria at deep mid wicket off the very next ball.

Kenya Elijah Otieno
Elijah Otieno took 3-29 from his four overs (ICC)

An under-pressure Tim David then walked in and hit the blocks running, sweeping Shem Ngoche for a trio of boundaries in quick succession. However, the left-arm spinner had the last laugh, when Tim David perished for a quick fire 29, skying a catch to Collins Obuya in the cover region.

Surendran Chadramohan, in typical fashion, exploded after a sedate start, punishing Nelson Odhimabo for bowling too short. A pair of vicious pulls to mid wicket—one over the ropes and one along the ground—were followed by a savage cut behind square to propel the score to 84/2 after 11.

Despite losing Surendran soon after, on what was perhaps the truest batting surface of the tournament thus far, Singapore looked set for 170.

Kenya Irfan Karim
Irfan Karim was a key man for Kenya again, today with 71 not out and player of the match (ICC)

And then came the turning point. Bowling the last over, Lucas Oluoch gave nothing away, conceding the solitary leg-bye and picking up three wickets in the process.

Kenya’s openers capitalized on the dramatic shift in momentum, upsetting the length of Singapore’s spinner with a relentless succession of sweeps, lofted drives over extra cover and slaps off the back foot and through the off side.

Desperate for a wicket, Amjad Mahboob used 7 different bowlers in the first 10 overs to no avail. The men in crimson and black had to wait until the 15th over for their first breakthrough, when Aman failed to clear Surendran Chandramohan at long off, falling for 50 off 46.

Kenya Singpapore
Dhiren Gondaria during his 12 from 9 balls (ICC)

With 44 required off the last 5 overs, Singapore were still in with a shout until the in-form Dhiren Gondaria whipped Tim David over long-on for his first maximum.

Collins Obuya followed this up with a pair of sixes to dash any hopes of another epic Singaporean victory as Kenya moved to 4th on the points table with 2 win out 4. Singapore, tied on points with Kenya and Namibia, ended the day sandwiched between the two on Net Run Rate and needing to win at least one of their last two games to keep their world cup hopes alive.

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