Kenya bow out with loss to Zimbabwe


KOLKATA, March 20- Craig Ervine, Vusimuzi Sibanda and Tatenda Taibu cracked impressive half-centuries to set up Zimbabwe's crushing 161-run victory over hapless Kenya in their final World Cup match on Sunday.

Zimbabwe showed their batting prowess to post 308-6, their highest total of the tournament, with man-of-the-match Ervine (66), Sibanda (61) and Taibu (53) all making the most of a mediocre Kenyan attack.

Kenya, who have looked out of their depth on the Indian subcontinent, losing all six of their matches, put in another disappointing batting performance, slumping to 147 all out in 36 overs at Eden Gardens.

Nehemiah Odhiambo (44 not out), Rakep Patel (24) and opener Alex Obanda (23) were the mainstays of their batting.

Left-arm spinner Raymond Price, who shared the new ball, off-spinner Greg Lamb and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer took two wickets apiece for Zimbabwe.

Both African nations were already out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals, but Zimbabwe had the consolation of ending their World Cup campaign with two wins in six matches.

"Today we can take a lot of positives, especially with the bat. I am also happy with the bowling performance," said Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura.

Zimbabwe were earlier struggling at 36-2 after electing to bat, but Sibanda steadied the innings with a 110-run stand for the third wicket with Taibu, who also completed 3,000 one-day runs during his half-century.

Ervine and Chigumbura (38) then added 105 for the fifth wicket as Zimbabwe plundered 104 runs in the last 10 overs, with Prosper Utseya (19 not out) smashing three fours and a six in seamer Elijah Otieno’s final over.

Left-handed Ervine, who cracked one six and nine fours in his 54-ball knock, survived a stumping chance on 15 off spinner James Ngoche as stand-in wicket-keeper Patel failed to collect the ball.

Patel kept wicket for a brief spell in place of regular wicket-keeper David Obuya, who suffered an injury while trying to stop a wide delivery.

Veteran all-rounder Steve Tikolo, making his last World Cup appearance, led Kenya in the absence of Jimmy Kamande, who was ruled out of the match due to a knee injury.

"We are disappointed. We wanted to put up a good performance but there were no partnerships," said Tikolo.

Sibanda hit one six and seven fours in his 57-ball knock before being run out following a mix-up with Taibu.

Taibu hit seven fours before being trapped leg-before by Ngoche.