Clinical Black Caps crush Kenya
Kenya’s World Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start as they slumped to a humiliating 10-wicket defeat against Group A rivals New Zealand in Chepauk.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first on a two-paced wicket, the minnows were skittled for just 69 - their lowest World Cup total and the fifth worst in ODI cricket.
Hamish Bennett was the pick of the bowlers with 4-16, while Tim Southee and Jacob Oram each claimed three wickets.
New Zealand took just eight overs to reach their paltry target, with openers Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum finishing unbeaten on 39 and 26 respectively.
The victory comes as a welcome boost for the Black Caps following their dismal run of results in recent months, although they may have wished for a stronger test ahead of their clash with Australia in Nagpur on Friday.
Kenya’s openers started nervously and had mustered just 14 runs - all in singles - by the time Alex Obanda was trapped lbw by Southee, the final ball of the seventh over. Replays suggested the ball would have gone over the top of the stumps, but the batsman showed no inclination to use the UDRS.
Former Warwickshire all-rounder Collins Obuya, who now operates as a specialist batsman, cracked Nathan McCullum for two fours before the introduction of Bennett sparked a stunning collapse.
Seren Waters fell lbw for 16 in the paceman’s second over before Steve Tikolo’s stumps were rearranged by a searing yorker.
Obuya soon followed to another leg-before decision and Maurice Ouma departed in identical fashion to give Bennett his fourth victim in the space of 11 deliveries.
Kenya’s lower order were unable to stage a recovery in the face of disciplined bowling from New Zealand’s seam attack and it was not long before the innings came to an end.
Oram picked up wickets in each of his three overs and conceded just two runs in the process, while the returning Southee dismissed Nehemiah Odhiambo and Shem Ngoche for ducks.
The subsequent run-chase proved a formality and lasted just 37 minutes, although there was enough time for Guptill to rub salt into Kenya’s wounds with two enormous sixes.
Losing skipper Jimmy Kamande admitted his side were simply overwhelmed by New Zealand’s bowlers.
“There was nothing wrong in the wicket. It was the areas New Zealand bowled,” he explained. “We have to learn from this performance today. There are some more games coming up for us.”
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had more reason to be cheerful and said: “It was good to start like this. The victory will stand us in good stead for the match against Australia on Friday.
“The wicket had a bit of variable bounce, which our seamers exploited. It was a great performance from the bowlers.”