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Cricket Match Predictions: When Kenya fielded their way to a World Cup win against Sri Lanka

Kenya's Collins Obuya

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.


2003 ODI World Cup - A look at the Sri Lankan line-up and it was hard to believe that Kenya could pull it off. In Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka had legends of the game, left, right and centre.


For Kenya to then achieve a victory, and a comfortable one at that, was a feat to cherish. It was some brilliant fielding and the legbreak of Collins Obuya that ultimately took them to a historic win.


Match Summary


Kenya 210/9 (50 Overs) - Maurice Odumbe26 (44), Kennedy Otieno60 (88); Muttiah Muralitharan4/28 (10), Chaminda Vaas3/41 (10)


Sri Lanka 157 (45 Overs) - Russel Arnold*25 (37), Aravinda de Silva41 (53); Steve Tikolo2/13 (5), Collins Obuya5/24 (10)


Result - Kenya won by 53 runs


It came as a surprise when Sri Lanka elected to field first against the Kenyans on an excellent batting surface at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi. But, the Sri Lankan bowlers appeared to be proving their captain's decision right when when Chaminda Vaas bagged a second ball wicket, trapping Ravindu Shah lbw with a curving inswinger.


But Otieno reacted aggressively to the early loss, swinging Vaas for two towering sixes and a flurry of boundaries, dashing Sri Lankan hopes of another early finish. Sri Lanka then made inroads: Brijal Patel (12) edged an off-cutter behind and Muralitharan trapped star batsman Steve Tikolo (10) lbw with a sharply turning off-break.


With some useful runs towards the end, they finished the innings with 210-9 as Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan shared seven wickets between them.


 Fall of Wickets: 1-1 (R Shah, 0.2), 46-2 (B Patel, 6.6), 75-3 (S Tikolo, 15.3), 112-4 (K Otieno, 27.3), 152-5 (H Modi, 37.3), 163-6 (Odoyo, 40.3), 163-7 (M Odumbe, 41.2), 173-8 (Tony Suji, 45.1), 205-9 (Ongondo, 49.3)


Kenya drew first blood with the ball at 13-1 when flamboyant opener Sanath Jayasuriya was caught in the fifth over. Once, Collins Obuya came into the attack, the Sri Lankan batsmen lost the plot as the leggie bagged a fifer.


With 41 from 53 deliveries, Aravinda de Silva was the only Sri Lankan batsman who could stand up to Kenya's bowling attack.


Be it the tumbling catch from Otieno behind the stumps to dismiss Sangakkara or the pouch to dismiss De Silva as he tried to lift Obuya through the off-side, Kenyan fielders complemented the tight line and lengths of their bowlers to register a 53-run win.


Fall of Wickets: 13-1 (S Jayasuriya, 4.2), 39-2 (M Atapattu, 11.5), 71-3 (H Tillakaratne, 17.3), 87-4 (Mahela, 23.3), 105-5 (Sangakkara, 27.4), 112-6 (A Silva, 29.3), 119-7 (C Vaas, 31.6), 131.


This was Kenya's first win against Sri Lanka, their tenth ODI victory, and their greatest day since they defeated West Indies at Poona in the 1996 World Cup.




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


Sri Lanka - Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya (c), Hashan Tillakaratne, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Russel Arnold, Chaminda Vaas, Prabath Nissanka, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando


Match Details


Match: Kenya v Sri Lanka, 26th Match, ICC World Cup, 2003

Date: Monday, February 24, 2003 

Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and opt to bowl 

Venue: Gymkhana Club Ground, Nairobi 

Umpires: Daryl Harper, Russell Tiffin 

Third Umpire: Arani Jayaprakash 

Match Referee: Denis Lindsay 


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