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Cricket Match Predictions: The day Kenya qualified for 2003 World Cup semis


In our new feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.

There was a lot of context involved in this game. Kenya were ruffled when New Zealand refused to play their group game scheduled against Kenya at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi. As a result, Kenya won via walkover.

Spurred on by the incident, Kenya went on to defeat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. They were now up against Zimbabwe, whom they had never defeated before.

With players like Steve Tikolo, Thomas Odoyo, Maurice Odumbe, Collins Obuya, and Martin Suji, Kenya were looking like a good side, but Zimbabwe, despite not being in the best shape, had great talents in Alistair Campbell, Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Tatenda Taibu, Heath Streak, Dougie Marillier and Henry Olonga.

Match Summary

Zimbabwe 133(44.1 Overs) - Andy Flower63 (101), Dougie Marillier21 (39); Martin Suji3/19 (8), Collins Obuya3/32 (10)

Kenya 135/3(26 Overs) - Thomas Odoyo*43 (60), Maurice Odumbe*38 (20); Andy Blignaut1/36 (9), Henry Olonga1/21 (4)

Result - Kenya won by 7 wickets (with 144 balls remaining)

At 26-2 within the first 10 overs and both openers Craig Wishart and Alistair Campbell gone for single digit scores, Zimbabwe were already put under pressure. Their middle order collapsed as well and soon they were struggling at 97-7.

Had it not been for Andy Flower, Zimbabwe's man for all seasons, who scored 63 off 101 balls - more than half of the team's runs - Zimbabwe could have been bowled out for a double-digit score. Flower's knock took them to 133.

Martin Suji was the chief striker for Kenya, who picked up three wickets, including that of both of the openers. Collins Obuya all bagged three.

Fall of Wickets: 8-1 (C Wishart, 2.2), 26-2 (A Campbell, 8.1), 45-3 (G Flower, 14.4), 66-4 (T Taibu, 20.5), 85-5 (D Ebrahim, 26.2), 95-6 (A Blignaut, 29.2), 97-7 (H Streak, 30.5), 114-8 (A Flower, 35.2), 129-9 (H Olonga, 40.2), 133-10 (D Marillier, 44.1)

Kenya opener Ravi Shah was extremely fortunate that day. He was dropped on four by Craig Wishart in the slips - a relatively straightforward chance - off Heath Streak. After surviving a confident shout for caught behind off Andy Blignaut - replays indicated a snick - he was missed again next ball, by the normally impeccable Dion Ebrahim at cover point, with a boundary resulting.

Despite a slow start, Kenya never had many to chase. A 20-ball 38 whirlwind from Maurice Odumbe sealed the game for them by seven wickets.

Fall of Wickets: 24-1 (R Shah, 7.3), 33-2 (S Tikolo, 9.4), 62-3 (K Otieno, 16.6)

Courtesy of the win, Kenya went on to qualify for the 2nd semi-final, the high-point of the country's cricketing history, where they lost to India by 91 runs.


Kenya - Kennedy Otieno (wk), Ravi Shah, Steve Tikolo (c), Thomas Odoyo, Maurice Odumbe, Hitesh Modi, Collins Obuya, Tony Suji, Martin Suji, Peter Ongondo, Aasif Karim

Zimbabwe - Craig Wishart, Alistair Campbell, Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Dion Ebrahim, Andy Blignaut, Heath Streak (c), Dougie Marillier, Henry Olonga, Douglas Hondo

Match Details

Match: Kenya v Zimbabawe, 6th Super, ICC World Cup, 2003
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and opt to bowl
Venue: Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan
Third Umpire: Billy Bowden
Match Referee: Wasim Raja

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