Zimbabwe beats Kenya for third time

Visiting Zimbabwean national cricket team thrashed Kenya on Sunday, beating the hosts by 66 runs to secure their third straight win, Xinhua reported.

The visitors have thus won the five-match series with two games to go. Batting first after winning the toss, Kenya started their innings on a sour note when their opening batsman, Seren Waters, was dismissed for a golden duck by Christopher Mpofu who had him edge the ball to the wicket-keeper, Foster Mutizwa.

Kenya's top order failed to get meaningful runs on the board and the situation was only saved by the middle-order batsman, Collins Obuya, who got the only half a century for the side, 55, which came from 63 deliveries with four boundaries and a towering six.

The visitors' batsmen showed resilience, recovering from a top-order wobble, and aggression to accelerate towards 285 for 8.

Defending a sizeable total, Zimbabwe's bowlers tied Kenya down at the start of the chase and struck regularly to ensure victory despite Alex Obanda's unbeaten 96.

Obuya shared a sixth wicket partnership of 79 with Morris Ouma (32) which was the best stand for the side. Tail-ender, Nehemiah Odhiambo, knocked a quick 23 off 19 balls with four fours. He shared a ninth wicket stand of 43 with Rajesh Bhudia (22).

The partnership assisted the hosts to get a respectable score, 234, by the time their last batsman was sent back to the pavilion.

In reply, tight bowling and stiff fielding restricted Zimbabwe's batsmen up to the 44th over when opening bowler, Peter Ong'ondo, was brought in when the hosts asked for a power play.

At the time, Kenya had an upper hand and the game was firmly under control. However, all that changed when Mutizwa (38) hit Ong'ondo for 26 runs in one over: two sixes, three fours and a single.

That over pushed Zimbabwe's scores from, 161 to 187.

Mutizwa share a wining seventh wicket stand of 86 with Utseya Prosper that took scores to 236. The two teams meet again at the same venue on Sunday. Kenya must win the encounter to avoid a whitewash.

Kenya had to chase 300-plus totals in the first two ODIs but it seemed as though their target today would be manageable, after their bowlers had Zimbabwe at 168 for 6.

Prosper Utseya and Mutizwa rallied for the visitors, scoring quick half-centuries in a 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

Zimbabwe took 67 runs off the final five overs, and finished with a target beyond Kenya's means. However, Zimbabwe had to overcome several jolts to reach a match-winning score.

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