Wednesday 14 March 2007 

Tikolo Leads Kenya To Big Victory Over Canada

Impressive slow bowling and a captain's innings from Steve Tikolo helped Kenya to a seven-wicket win over Canada in the opening World Cup Group C match in St Lucia.

The Africans reached their target in 43.2 overs having restricted fellow tournament outsiders Canada to 199 all out.

Tikolo, 35 and playing in his fourth World Cup, struck a patient 72 not out including seven fours and a six to guide his side home with Maurice Ouma chipping in with 58.

Tikolo earlier bagged two for 34 with his slow-medium pace to limit Canada.

Kenya, semi-finalists in 2003, won the toss and elected to bowl with captain Steve Tikolo saying he expected moisture in a surprisingly bouncy pitch early on.

However, Canada made a quick start and opener Geoff Barnett smashed five fours off a wayward 14th over from Nehemiah Odhiambo.

Barnett perished the next over, however, when he tried to pull Peter Ongondo for six but was carefully caught on the rope by Tanmay Mishra. He topscored with 41 from 50 balls with nine fours.

Kenya spinners Jimmy Kamande and Hiren Varaiya then put the brakes on and Canada's dangerman Ashish Bagai was dismissed amid controversy for 19.

The batsman came down the pitch to Varaiya, wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma failed to gather cleanly and when he eventually whipped off the bails Bagai's bat appeared to be in.

But third umpire replays showed the end of his bat was in the air and he was given out, to the sounds of boos from the few Canadians in the crowd.

Kamande finished with two for 25, Tikolo bagged two for 34 and Varaiya picked up one for 19.

Canada suffered three comical run outs late on with Umar Bhatti, Anderson Cummins and Henry Osinde, on the last ball of the 50 overs, well out of their ground.

© Reuters 2007