Defending champions West Indies finished the group stage on a good note, dismantling Kenya by 222 runs to register their first win of the tournament. After Alick Athanaze’s unbeaten century guided West Indies to a massive 319 for seven in the allotted 50 overs, Bhaskar Yadaram’s five for 18 helped them bowl out the African country for a paltry 96.
West Indies skipper Emmanuel Stewart’s decision to bat first was fully justified by the openers – Keagan Simmons and Kimani Melius – as they added 78 runs for the first wicket. The partnership came to an end when Simmons was run out for 17. Simmons was finding it tough to get going, taking 47 balls to score his 17 but had managed to keep his wicket intact and supported Melius who was looking in fine form.
West Indies, however, was once again in danger of another poor batting display after Melius and Bhaskar Yadram were dismissed in quick succession after Simmons’ departure, as they were reduced to 82 for three from 78 for 0.
However, a 68-run stand between Athanaze and Kirstan Kallicharan steadied the ship before Kenya struck twice again to reduce their formidable opponents to 198 for six. But the African side could not make any further inroads in the game, as in Nyeem Young, Athanaze got an able partner. Both the batsmen added 119 runs for the seventh wicket to all but put the game beyond Kenya’s reach. Young was dismissed on the penultimate ball of the innings after scoring 57 off 45 while Athanaza remained unbeaten on 116 off 93 balls.
In reply, Kenya was off to a good start with the openers – Aman Gandhi and Dennis Musyoka – adding 51 runs for the opening wicket. However, the floodgates opened once Gandhi was sent back by Jarion Hoyte. Yadaram and Jeavor Royal then ran through the Kenyan lineup, taking five and four wickets, respectively to fold them up for just 96.
West Indies 319 for 7 (Athanaze 116*, Melius 60, Desai 3-54) beat Kenya (Gandhi 37, Yadaram 5-18, Royal 4-25) by 222 runs.