Record Book – The highest ODI total by an Associate nation

  The second match of the recently-concluded ODI series between leading Associate teams Afghanistan and Ireland saw the Afghans rack up 338 on the board, their highest ever ODI total. However, this was only the third-highest total by a non-Test playing team in ODI history; the record still remains with Kenya, who rode roughshod over Bangladesh nearly 20 years ago.

  The Kenya Cricket Association President’s Cup was a triangular tournament played in Nairobi in October 1997, featuring Zimbabwe and Bangladesh besides the hosts. The opening match at the Gymkhana Club Ground on 10th October saw the Kenyans square off against Bangladesh, the team that had beaten them in the thrilling ICC Trophy final in Kuala Lumpur six months earlier.

  This was the first official ODI to be played between the two emerging nations. Akram Khan won the toss for Bangladesh and decided to field first; little did he know that his bowlers were soon going be at the receiving end of a new world record partnership. Opening the innings for Kenya was the right-handed duo of wicketkeeper Kennedy Otieno and Dipak Chudasama, a qualified dentist.

  Chudasama became the first Kenyan to score an ODI hundred, going on to make 122 from just 113 balls – studded with 16 fours – and more significantly, shared in a mammoth opening stand of 225 with Otieno. This created a new record for the highest first-wicket partnership in ODIs, going past the 212 added by Australia’s Geoff Marsh and David Boon against India at Jaipur in 1986-87.

  The breakthrough was finally achieved when pace bowler Hasibul Hossain caught Chudasama off his own bowling, but any hopes of respite for Bangladesh were stymied by Otieno, who rushed to a century of his own during the course of a second-wicket stand with Steve Tikolo – who had hit a fine 147 in the ICC Trophy final – that fetched 84 runs.

       Kenyan wicketkeeper Kennedy Otieno scored 144 to help set a strong base for his team against Bangladesh at Nairobi in 1997-98 (source – cricket.com.au)

  Otieno, who was third out at 316, batted three and a half hours for his 144, which took 146 balls and consisted of 12 fours and a six. This remains the highest ODI score by a Kenyan. A final flourish from Maurice Odumbe and Thomas Odoyo swelled the total to 347/3; the previous highest by a non-Test side was Zimbabwe’s 312/4 against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth in the 1992 World Cup.

  All the Bangladeshi bowlers came in for harsh treatment, none more so than off-spinner Sheikh Salahuddin, who returned 0/80 in his ten overs. Openers Athar Ali Khan and Shahriar Hossain gave Bangladesh a sound start by putting on 55, with Athar guiding the score to 100/2 before being caught and bowled by captain Aasif Karim for a well-compiled 61.

  This wicket ended Bangladesh’s resistance, as the Kenyan spinners, spun a web around the rest of the batting. Karim’s left-arm spin fetched him a career-best haul of 5/33 in his ten overs, which remained the national record till 2002-03, when Collins Obuya famously picked 5/24 in a World Cup match against Sri Lanka at the same venue. 

  Bangladesh lost their last eight wickets for only 97 to be bowled out for 197 in 43.4 overs. This 150-run margin was then Kenya’s highest in ODIs, which they bettered in 2006-07 with a 190-run drubbing of Scotland at Mombasa. Otieno was unsurprisingly adjudged as the man of the match. The tournament was eventually won by Zimbabwe, who beat Kenya 2-0 in the best-of-three finals. 

  At that time, the stand of 225 between Otieno and Chudasama was not only the highest for the first wicket, but also the fourth-highest for any wicket. The record was broken within a year, as Indian openers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar stitched together 252 against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 1998. At the current date, it lies in 17th place in the list of highest opening stands in ODIs.

  Kenya’s total of 347/3 however continues to be the highest by an Associate nation in an ODI, though Scotland came close to breaking it with their total of 341/9 against Canada at Christchurch in 2013-14. As far as the highest ODI total by an Associate against a Test-playing nation is concerned, the record is Ireland’s 331/8 against Zimbabwe at Hobart in the 2015 World Cup.

Match Scorecard

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Record Book – The first ODI on Kenyan soil

  Following their impressive display in the 1996 World Cup in the subcontinent, during which they famously toppled the fancied West Indians at Pune, Kenya were awarded ODI status by the ICC. This was a welcome boost to their surge towards becoming the leading Associate nation in the world.

  A little over six months after the World Cup, history was created at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi as it hosted the first official One-Day International match on Kenyan soil, with newly-crowned World Cup champions Sri Lanka playing the home team on September 28, 1996.

  This was the opening game of the four-nation Kenya Cricket Association Centenary Tournament, which also featured Pakistan and South Africa and was played in white clothing. The tournament was held to mark hundred years since the game was first played in Kenya, at Mombasa in 1896. Maurice Odumbe captained the hosts, while his Sri Lankan counterpart was Arjuna Ranatunga.

  Kenya had met Sri Lanka at Kandy in the World Cup earlier in the year, a match remembered for Sri Lanka’s new world record total of 398/5. Kenya replied valiantly to this mammoth total, ending at 254/7 with Steve Tikolo scoring an entertaining 96. Nine of the eleven Kenyans who played this game also took the field in the opening contest of the KCA Centenary Tournament.

  Sri Lanka elected to field first in front of an enthusiastic crowd, and almost immediately had the Kenyans on the mat. Chaminda Vaas castled Dipak Chudasama for a duck in the first over itself to set the tone. Debutant Sajeewa de Silva, like Vaas a left-arm pace bowler, then dealt a major twin blow, getting rid of Kennedy Otieno and Tikolo to leave Kenya lurching at 14/3.

Hitesh Modi

      Left-hander Hitesh Modi (seen fielding against India in 2000) was the top scorer for Kenya in their first home ODI, with an unbeaten 78 (source – espncricinfo.com)

  It did not get any better for the hosts, as Odumbe was caught behind off the part-time medium pace of his opposite number Ranatunga to make it 31/4. At the other end, Sandeep Gupta, who was making his ODI debut, showed positivity in compiling 41 off 66 balls before being bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan, the first of the off-spin wizard’s four victims.

  Talented southpaw Hitesh Modi, who came in at the fall of the fourth wicket, began to rebuild the innings, but could not help the collapse brought about by Muralitharan. Thomas Odoyo, Martin Suji and Edward ‘Tito’ Odumbe – Maurice’s elder brother – all fell to ‘Murali’ without reaching double figures as Kenya went from 65/4 to a lamentable 93/8.

  At this point, it seemed inevitable that Modi would eventually run out of partners. However, he found late support from the reliable Aasif Karim for the ninth wicket. Together they nearly doubled the score, putting on a crucial 89 runs. It was the dismissal of Karim, run out for 24, that brought an end to the partnership.

  Modi stayed till the end, unbeaten on a fluent 78 from 105 balls with nine fours and a six. This would remain his career-best ODI score. Kenya had managed to last their 50 overs, finishing at 188/9 – a far cry from the position they were in at the fall of the eighth wicket. Muralitharan, who was later named man of the match, returned impressive figures of 10-4-18-4.

  Though the total was modest, Modi’s efforts had at least provided the Kenyan bowlers with something reasonable to defend. Edward Odumbe, with his medium pace, gave his side the ideal start, nailing the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya – man of the tournament at the 1996 World Cup – LBW with only five runs on the board.

  An over later, Odumbe removed Asanka Gurusinha, who was trapped on the pads as well, without troubling the scorers. Faint hopes of a Kenyan comeback arose among the local supporters as Sri Lanka were now reduced to 7/2. However, there was nothing for them to cheer about after this bright start, what with Aravinda de Silva joining Romesh Kaluwitharana in the middle.

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    Muttiah Muralitharan was named man of the match for his haul of 4/18 in the first ODI played in Kenya (source – fastcricket.com)

  Kaluwitharana, undeterred by the loss of his marauding opening partner, made short work of the inconsistent Kenyan bowling. The seasoned de Silva gave him able support, and together they raised 121 runs for the third wicket until ‘Mad Max’ was dismissed courtesy a catch by Edward Odumbe off Maurice Odumbe for an assertive 55 from 47 balls.

  Ranatunga helped Kaluwitharana to put the finishing touches, as the fourth wicket fetched an unbroken 62 runs. Sri Lanka galloped to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory, reaching 190/3 in just 30.4 overs. Kaluwitharana scored his maiden ODI hundred –  a typically stroke-filled 100* in 89 balls, with 17 fours and a six.

  In their following match of the tournament against Pakistan, which was the first ODI played at the Aga Khan Sports Club, Kenya, defending 148, had their opponents at 61/5 before eventually going down by four wickets. Their last match against South Africa was a hiding – they were beaten by 202 runs thanks to ‘White Lightning’ Allan Donald’s 6/23.

  The last league match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was notable for Shahid Afridi’s stunning century off 37 balls, a record that stood for over 17 years. It was South Africa who won the trophy, beating Pakistan by seven wickets at the Gymkhana in front of a crowd of 10,000, with Gary Kirsten (118*) ensuring a smooth chase of 204. Donald (14 wickets) was named man of the tournament.

  Six and a half years later, Sri Lanka were back at the Gymkhana to take on Kenya in a group match of the 2003 World Cup. Muralitharan took four wickets again, but this time he was bettered by Collins Obuya, whose 5/24 spun his team to a famous 53-run victory. This win was a major factor in enabling Kenya to reach the semifinals – the first and only time an Associate nation has done so.

Match Scorecard 

Record Book – Bangladesh’s first ODI victory

  Bangladesh finally showed substance as a competitive one-day outfit in the calendar year 2012 with as many as five wins in nine games against top opposition, and came only within two runs of wining their maiden Asia Cup title in front of their own fans.

  True, all the matches were played at home, but surely Bangladesh are coming of age as a solid one-day nation even as their Test struggles continue. In this post, let us go down the years to recollect the Tigers’ first ODI victory.

  Bangladesh played their first ODI back in the 1985-86 Asia Cup against Pakistan at Moratuwa. Led by Gazi Ashraf, the new kids on the block were rolled over for just 94 and lost by seven wickets.

  Thus began a long ordeal for them in international cricket and they suffered a run of a record 22 defeats in a row, until one day in Hyderabad (Bangladesh themselves broke the record with another wretched run between 1999 and 2002, losing 23 games on the trot until a washout stemmed the rot).

  This match was part of one of the many tri-series that took place in the late nineties. This one, played in May 1998, was hosted by India, who invited the two best Associate members of that time – Bangladesh and Kenya – for the series.

  Bangladesh began the tournament on an expected note, losing to India by five wickets. Their next game was a day-nighter on 17th May, 1998 at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad against Kenya, who had beaten Bangladesh twice just six months back.

  Kenyan captain Asif Karim elected to bat after winning the toss, and his team were soon 29/2. Bangladesh bowled with discipline and kept Kenya to 89/4 after 20 overs. Hitesh Modi (40) and debutant Ravindu Shah (52) revived the innings with a 67-run stand for the fifth wicket, but could not help their team gain control.

  Kenya were finally dismissed for 236 in 49 overs, losing their last five wickets for 43 runs. Bangladesh’s talented all-rounder Mohammed Rafique took 3/56 with his left-arm spin. 

_42695009_rafique_getty416         Mohammed Rafique’s all-round display helped Bangladesh to finally win their first ODI – after 12 years and 22 defeats (source – thealternativecricketalmanack.com)

  The total was by no means a daunting one to chase, but Bangladesh still needed a solid start, given their brittle batting line-up. The openers Rafique and Athar Ali Khan delivered it, putting on 137 in 26 overs.

  Rafique added to his good bowling show with a stroke-filled 77 off 88 balls, making Kenya pay for two dropped chances when he was on 14. Athar was more subdued, making 47 in 91 balls.

  With 17-year-old left-arm spinner Mohammed Sheikh (2/46) bowling well, Kenya had a chance of a fightback when the score read 166/3. But those hopes were dashed by a 62-run stand for the fourtth wicket between Aminul Islam and captain Akram Khan.

  When Akram was out for 39, the Tigers needed just ten runs in three overs, which were duly achieved in the next over itself. Bangladesh reached 237/4 in 48 overs and the six-wicket win was their first ever in ODI cricket, coming after 12 years and 22 losses.

  Rafique was adjudged Man of the Match for his all-round feat. Bangladesh however did not win any other game in the tournament, and failed to qualify for the final. Bangladesh’s next two ODI wins came in the 1999 World Cup in the U.K, where they beat Scotland by 22 runs and stunned Pakistan by 62 runs.

  The latter result paved the way for their Test status in 2000, which was undoubtedly a premature decision. Even after becoming a Test nation, Bangladesh’s ODI performances were largely mediocre. It took them their 100th ODI to post their fifth win – a 15-run win over India at Dhaka in 2004-05, also their first win at home. 

  Hopefully their showing in 2012 is a good sign for the things to come, as the cricket world needs a strong Bangladeshi team in all formats. That the word ‘upset’ is no longer attached to a Bangladesh ODI win speaks for the progress that the Tigers have made in the 50-overs format in recent times. 

Match Scorecard

Specials – Kenya’s finest ODI wins

  The 2003 World Cup was memorable in many respects, but nothing could match the amazing feat of Kenya, who became the first ever Associate nation to enter a World Cup semi-final.

  Buoyed by wins over Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and a lucky forfeiture by New Zealand, the spirited African nation defied all odds to reach the final four before bowing out to India, gaining the respect of the world. 

  This wonderful performance had strengthened their claim for Test status like never before, but unfortunately, Kenyan cricket came down tumbling after this high. Their inspirational former captain Maurice Odumbe was banned for alleged corruption in 2004 and Kenya’s performances, even against fellow Associates, deteriorated steadily.

  They finished bottom in the 2011 World Cup, losing all six matches without a fight. However, they still hold the record of being the Associate team to have beaten the maximum number of Test nations in one-day matches (five).

  In this post, let us look back at Kenya’s five most noteworthy one-day international victories, in chronological order:

1) Beat West Indies by 73 runs, Pune, 1995-96

  The 1996 World Cup was the first international tournament ever played by Kenya. After losing to India, Australia and Zimbabwe, the Kenyans faced two-time world champions West Indies in a group stage match at Pune.

  It was all going according to the script as the Associate nation was bowled out for a meagre 166 in 49.3 overs (Steve Tikolo the top-scorer with 29, Extras at 37). However, the medium fast bowler Rajab Ali and captain Maurice Odumbe rose to the occasion.

  Ali and Odumbe claimed 3/17 and 3/15 respectively as the Windies were shockingly bowled out for 93 in 35.2 overs. They never recovered from 35/4 as no batsman reached even 20. This was Kenya’s first international win, and probably their most memorable.

        The Kenyans take off after stunning the West Indies in the 1996 World Cup (source – skysports.com) 

2) Beat India by 69 runs, Gwalior, 1997-98

  This game was part of a tri-series also involving Bangladesh. Even though India beat Kenya in the final, Kenya served a warning to the hosts just two days earlier, scoring a stunning victory against a team containing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Mohammed Azharuddin and Anil Kumble.

  Led by Asif Karim, Kenya posted a strong 265/5 with Odumbe creaming 83, which included five sixes. Indian-origin batsmen Ravindu Shah and Hitesh Modi scored 70 and 51 respectively.

  Once Martin Suji removed Tendulkar to make it 34/1, there was no stopping Kenya and the hosts were bowled out for just 196 in 47.1 overs. Odumbe added 3/14 to his knock of 83 to win the Man of the Match award. 

3) Beat India by 70 runs, Port Elizabeth, 2001-02

  This was another tri-series match (third team being hosts South Africa), and another upset win over India. Openers Kennedy Otieno (64) and Ravindu Shah (50) posted 121 for the first wicket to set the foundation, while Thomas Odoyo scored a quick 51 to help Kenya make a competitive 246/6.

  India then crashed to 60/4 under lights, and later to 103/7 before folding for 176 in 46.4 overs. Man of the Match Joesph Angara, a medium fast bowler, had the biggest moment of his career, finishing with 3/30. This was however Kenya’s only win in the tri-series and they could not reach the final. 

4) Beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs, Nairobi (Gym), 2002-03

        Collins Obuya bagged 5/24 in a dream spell to help Kenya upset Sri Lanka (source – bbc.co.uk)

  This was a fairy-tale victory as Kenya beat a full-strength Sri Lankan outfit in a 2003 World Cup match in front of their home crowd. After being put in, Kenya rode on Kennedy Otieno’s 60 to reach a total of 210/9, Muttiah Muralitharan taking 4/28.

  In the reply, after the fast bowlers had removed the openers, 21-year-old leg-spinner Collins Obuya took over. He scythed through the Lankan middle order, taking 5/24 in a dream spell to reduce the opponents from 71/2 to 119/7.

  Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 157 in 45 overs and Kenya were almost through to the super six stage, which they later achieved by beating Bangladesh. The Kenyans did a victory lap around the ground in front of their grateful fans, who witnessed a memorable performance by their team.

     The Kenyan team do a victory lap after beating Sri Lanka at Nairobi in the  2003 World Cup (source – kenyacricket.20m.com)

5) Beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets, Bloemfontein, 2002-03

  This victory over a stronger Zimbabwean side in the super six stage of the 2003 World Cup sealed Kenya’s historic entry into the semi-finals. Except for Andy Flower (63), no one stood up to Kenya’s bowling as Zimbabwe were skittled for just 133 in 44.1 overs.

  Martin Suji scalped 3/19 in a highly impressive display of seam bowling. In reply, Odoyo (43*) and Odumbe (38*) stitched an unbeaten 73-run stand for the fourth wicket to help Kenya reach 135/3 comfortably with as many as 24 overs to spare. 

  Since beating Zimbabwe in the aforementioned 2003 World Cup match, Kenya has not won an ODI against a Test nation except for beating Zimbabwe four times during the period when the latter were in isolation from Test cricket.