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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 21:23 GMT
Skipper Tikolo inspires Kenya win
World Cup Group C, St Lucia: Kenya 199-3 (43 overs) beat Canada 198 (50 overs)

Steve Tikolo
Tikolo celebrates after dismissing Canada's Ian Billcliff

Captain Steve Tikolo led by example as Kenya began their World Cup campaign with a comfortable seven-wicket win over Canada in St Lucia.

Tikolo took 2-34 and then struck an unbeaten 72 off 76 balls as they eased home with seven overs to spare.

Canada managed only 198 all out in their innings as spinners Jimmy Kamande (2-25), Tikolo and Hirem Varaiya (1-19) strangled their scoring rate.

Maurice Ouma then launched the reply with 58 and Tikolo finished things off.

Kenya were pretty much in control of proceedings from the moment they won the toss and chose to put Canada in for the first match in a group which also includes England and New Zealand, the clear favourites to progress to the Super 8 phase.

Opener Geoff Barnett gave Canada a promising start with 41 off 50 balls, including 20 in a single over from Nehemiah Odhiambo.

But once the left-hander had perished attempting to pull a ball from Peter Ongondo, with Tanmay Mishra taking the catch at deep backward square leg, and the spinners had been introduced the run rate plummeted and only 26 came from the next 10 overs.

Ashish Bagai fell for 19 when he was lured down the pitch by Varaiya and keeper Ouma managed to remove the bails in time after the ball had initially bounced down off his chest.

Canada batsman Geoff Barnett
Barnett showed the value of his experience playing in New Zealand

John Davison, holder of the fastest World Cup century, managed one powerful drive but was then bowled through the gate by off-spinner Kamande, who accounted for Qaiser Ali in similar fashion as he shaped to play him to mid-wicket.

Ian Billcliff toiled for 34 off 69 balls before giving a return catch to Tikolo off the leading edge and the Kenya skipper picked up a second wicket when Ashish Mulla sliced him high to gully after lofting Ongondo onto the roof of the stand at square leg in the previous over.

Sunil Dhaniram gave Canada a glimmer of hope with an unbeaten 34 off 35 balls but their innings ended in chaos with three run-outs.

Anderson Cummins took the new ball at the start of Kenya's reply, having become only the second man in history to play for two different teams in the World Cup.

The 40-year-old, who appeared for West Indies in 1992, bowled a tidy enough spell and picked up the wicket of David Obuya, who was caught behind for four.

But the Canadians were guilty of sending down 18 wides which they could ill afford and a stand of 67 between Ouma and Tikolo effectively settled the issue after Umar Bhatti had found enough inswing to have Ravindu Shah lbw for six.

Ouma skied a catch off the bowling off left-arm spinner Dhaniram shortly after reaching his second one-day international fifty, but Tikolo never gave a sniff of a chance.

Rated by many as the best batsman on the African continent outside South Africa, the 35-year-old collected a six and seven fours as he and Mishra, who made 35 not out, completed the job.

Kenya: M A Ouma (Wkt), D O Obuya, R D Shah, S O Tikolo (Capt) T Mishra, C O Obuya, T M Odoyo, J K Kamande, N Odhiambo, P J Ongondo H A Varaiya.

Canada: G E F Barnett, A M Samad, A Bagai (Wkt), I S Billcliff J M Davison (Capt), A A Mulla, Q Ali, S Dhaniram, U Bhatti A C Cummins, H Osinde.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pak), P Parker (Aus)

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