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India A beat Kenya, enter final

cricket Updated: Aug 19, 2007 04:06 IST

AFP
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Three batsmen including skipper Mohammed Kaif scored half-centuries against Kenya on Saturday to put India A in the final of the triangular one-day tournament.

Kenyan captain Thomas Odoyo was left to rue his decision to allow India A to bat first after he won the toss as the Indian Blues, despite losing an early wicket went on to set a big total of 280 in their 46 overs.

Paceman Peter Ongondo, who took five wickets against Sri Lanka A on Thursday, threatened early when he removed former India Test star Pathiv Patel for one but after that the tourists took charge of the match.

Kaif, coming in at number three, combined well with Praveen Kumar, hitting a quickfire 64 in a 91-run second wicket partnership, which would eventually become the cornerstone to the Indian innings.

Cheteshwar Pujara (67) was another batsman to reach a half-century but it was another Test discard, Irfan Pathan, whose explosive 48 off only 24 balls helped put the result beyond the Kenyans.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and fast-bowler Yo Mahesh took three wickets each while Kumar grabbed two in his all-round performance to earn the man of the match award.

In reply Kenya, who have failed to beat India A in four matches of their tour were all out for 200. Batsman Alex Obanda led the Kenyan fightback but fell short of his first career half century by four runs when he was tricked to a short ball and was stumped by Patel off the bowling of Ojha on 46.