Former cricket team captain Rakep Patel on Tuesday knocked a quick half a century in the ICC Africa Eastern sub-region Four-Nation World Twenty20 pre-qualifying stage as Kenya beat Tanzania by seven wickets at Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, Kigali.
Patel's 72 runs came off 27 deliveries with five boundaries and eight sixes. His efforts earned him man of the match award.
Batting first, Tanzania set a target of 119 by the time all their batsmen had been sent back to the pavilion with two balls of their allotted 20 overs in hand.
Jatin Chandubhai top scored for Tanzania with half a century, 52 that came off 38 balls with seven boundaries and a six. Muhammad Zafar Khan (12 off 15 balls with two boundaries) and Nasibu Mapunda (11 off 15 balls with two boundaries) were the only Tanzania batsmen who posted double digit figures on the scoreboard.
Shem Ngoche was Tanzania's main destroyer, taking three wickets for 23. Pushpak Kerai (2/26), Nelson Odhiambo (1/10), Gurdeep Singh (1/12), Elijah Otieno (1/14) and Eugene Ochieng (1/22) were the other wicket takers.
In reply, Kenya reached the target, 119 in just 8.3 overs with seven wickets in hand. Kenya started their innings on wrong footing when opening batsman, Dhiren Gondaria (12 off 6 balls with a boundary and a six), was caught by Mapunda off Riziki Kiseto's fourth ball of the second over with a score of 23 showing on the board.
Obanda half ton guides Kenya past Rwanda
Gondaria's opening partner, Alex Obanda (18 off 8 balls with a boundary and two sixes), was also sent to the pavilion in the fourth over when Kiseto (2/25) had him caught by R. Amarshi. Obanda and Rakep added 13 runs on the scoreboard in their second wicket partnership.
Rakep took Kenya out of the woods and accelerated his team's run rate when he shared a third wicket partnership of 81 runs with Gurdeep Singh, who was unbeaten on a run a ball nine that included one boundary.
The partnership was broken when Ramaiya (1/16) had Rakep caught by Abhik Patwa, leaving Kenya two runs shy of victory.
Rushab Patel (one not out) joined Gurdeep at the crease and the duo got the required runs that saw Kenya win their third successive game in Kigali.
Kenya will face Rwanda in their second game at the same venue on Wednesday.