Former skipper Collins Obuya missed half ton by six runs as Kenya beat Rwanda by five wickets in the ICC Africa Eastern sub-region Four-Nation World Twenty20 pre-qualifying stage at Gahanga International Cricket Stadium, Kigali.
Obuya was unbeaten on 44 that came off 35 deliveries with a boundary and two sixes and was Kenya's highest runs getter.
Batting first, Rwanda scored 125 runs by the time all their batsmen were sent back to the pavilion with three balls of their allotted 20 overs in hand. Bashir Songa (43 off 31 balls with two boundaries and three sixes) top scored for Rwanda. Zappy Bimenyimana (19 off 14 balls with a boundary and a six) and Bosco Tuyizere (10 off 13 balls with a boundary and a six) were the other batsmen who got double digit figures for their side.
Pushpak Kerai (4/25) was Rwanda's main executioner. Eugene Ochieng (3/19), Shem Ngoche (2/13) and Nehemiah Odhiambo (1/23) were the other wicket takers.
In reply, Kenya reached the target, 129 with five wickets and 23 balls in hand. Kenya started their innings in a shaky manner when their opening batsman, Dhiren Gondaria (13 off 12 balls with a boundary and a six) was caught by Tuyizere off the bowling of Bimenyimana (1/24) with a score of 21 showing on the scoreboard.
Alex Obanda (30 (off 17 balls with two boundaries and three sixes), Ngoche (12 of 9 balls with two boundaries), and Rakep Patel (11 off 10 balls with two boundaries and three sixes) were Kenya's runs getters.
At one point, the pendulum of the game swung in favour of Rwanda as Kenya batsmen struggled to squeeze runs. Gurdeep Singh steadied the ship when he joined Obuya at the crease and the duo put on a fifth wicket partnership of 46, the best for the side. The stand was broken when Gurdeep was caught by Clinton Rububagumya off the bowling of Yvan Mitari (2/30). Then Kenya needed five runs to win.
Rushab Patel was unbeaten on four that came off two balls with a six joined Obuya at the crease and the two saw Kenya through to victory.
The other Rwanda's wickets were Eric Niyomugambo ( (1/15), Bimenyimana (1/24) and Eric Dusabemungu (1/43).
Kenya will meet Tanzania, who shocked Uganda by six wickets also on Wednesday, in their next match on Friday.