An all-round team performance by Kenya saw it keep its series hopes alive as it beat Zimbabwe by 20 runs in the third One Day International at Harare Sports Club on Thursday. Kenya won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat.
Openers Alex Obanda and David Obuya once again took advantage of wayward bowling by seamers Elton Chigumbura and Kyle Jarvis and added 119 runs for the first wicket. Obanda top scored with 65 (73 balls) while David Obuya made 56 (65 balls) as it mixed attacking stroke play with good running between the wickets. A well-struck 52 from Collins Obuya then ensured that the visitors reached a more than respectable total of 266-9 off its 50 overs. There were two wickets apiece for Kyle Jarvis (2-60), Hamilton Masakadza (2-22) and Raymond Price (2-22) with the later being the pick of the bowlers.
Zimbabwe soon found itself on the back foot as Mark Vermeulen, Charles Coventry and Hamilton Masakadza were back in the pavilion with just 62 runs on the board. Brendan Taylor and Stuart Matsikenyeri seemingly restored the situation as the pair added 142 for the fourth wicket. Left-arm spinner Hiren Varaiya started the mid innings collapse as he deceived Matsikenyeri with an arm ball bowling him for 58. Taylor was Varaiya's next victim as he went eight runs short of what would have been his maiden ODI century. The day however belonged to medium passer Nehemaih Odhiambo who on a flat wicket bagged the man-of-the-match award by taking 4-61 in 9.5 overs. Chigumbura (21) tried to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but once he was the last man out it was only left for the Kenyans to celebrate a well-earned victory.
Kenya would be hoping to keep the momentum going and level the series when the two sides meet at the same venue on Saturday.