Kenya captain and wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma hit an unbeaten century but his side was staring right in the eyes of defeat against Scotland at the close of third day's play in the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10 match at Nairobi Gymkhana in Nairobi on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old was batting on 106, his third career century in 32nd first-class match, as the home side finished the penultimate day's play at 288-7 after having resumed this morning at 30-1.
Kenya, which trailed Scotland by 215 runs on the first innings, is now just 73 runs ahead with three wickets in hand. Barring the glorious uncertainties of this game, Scotland is on course to collect maximum points from this match and regain top position on the points tables, six ahead of Afghanistan.
Ouma, who has hit 19 fours and a six in his 158-ball innings to date, walked-in at the score of 148-4. Together with Hiren Varaiya (44), he put on 65 runs for the fifth wicket while he dominated a 49-run sixth wicket stand with Jimmy Kamande whose contribution in the partnership was just seven runs from 54 balls.
The other notable contributors in Kenya's second innings were Collins Obuya (38) and Steve Tikolo (34). Obuyo and Varaiya added 50 runs for the third wicket to lift Kenya from 45-2 to 95-3 before Varaiya paired with Tikolo to take the score to 148.
Both Obuya and Tikolo fell to off-spinner Majid Haq who finished the day with figures of 2-39 while bowler Dewald Nel followed up his first innings figures of 2-28 with 3-91. Kyle Coetzer also bowled well and took 2-16.
When the stumps were drawn for the third day, with Ouma at the crease was Elijah Otieno (10) with the pair having added 20 runs so far for the unfinished eighth wicket.
Scores in brief:
At Nairobi Gymkhana (stumps, day three):
Kenya 91 all out, 49.1 overs (Collins Obuya 40; Richie Berrington 3-13, Gordon Drummond 3-18, Dewald Nel 2-28, Gordon Goudie 2-30) and 288-7, 114 overs (Maurice Ouma 106 not out, Hiren Varaiya 44; Dewald Nel 3-91)
Scotland 306 all out, 116.1 overs (Qasim Sheikh 108; Richie Berrington 80; Nehemiah 3-60, Jimmy Kamande 2-31, Elijah Otieno 2-46)
Scorecard available at http://www.icc-cricket.com/match_zone/scorecard.php?matchId=32256
ICC INTERCONTINENTAL CUP
17-20 Feb - Afghanistan v Canada, UAE
20-23 Feb - Kenya v Netherlands, Nairobi
10-13 Jun - Netherlands v Scotland, Netherlands
11-14 Aug - Scotland v Afghanistan, Scotland
11-14 Aug - Ireland v Netherlands, Ireland
21-24 Aug - Canada v Zimbabwe XI, Canada
1-4 Sep - Canada v Ireland, Canada
1-4 Sep - Netherlands v Zimbabwe XI, Netherlands
2-5 Oct - Kenya v Afghanistan, Kenya
6-9 Oct - Zimbabwe XI v Ireland, Africa
13-16 Oct - Zimbabwe XI v Scotland, Africa
25-29 Nov - FINAL (five days), UAE
ICC INTERCONTINENTAL SHIELD
2-5 Apr - Namibia v Bermuda, Namibia
5-8 Jul - Bermuda v UAE, Bermuda
18-21 Sep - Uganda v Namibia, Uganda
25-28 Nov - FINAL, UAE
The exact venues for these fixtures have not yet been finalised.
The latest points table for the tournament so far can be found at http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php
There will be a total of US$250,000 in prize money for the Associate and Affiliate teams taking part in the ICC Intercontinental Cup with US$100,000 for the winners and US$40,000 for the runners-up.
Having previously been designed around a two-group, three-day format, the event then evolved into an eight-team, round-robin and truly global tournament featuring four-day cricket which gives those teams who do not play Test cricket the chance to experience the longer form of the game.
This year's format include seven teams (Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland and Zimbabwe XI), while the new competition, the ICC Intercontinental Shield, involves the four teams below that, namely Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.
Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in all three events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider, Canada in the 2006-07 event and Namibia in 2007-08.
Go to http://www.icc-cricket.com/events_and_awards/intercontinental_cup/index.php
to find out more.