Scots take control against Kenya

SCOTLAND took charge of their Intercontinental Cup clash with Kenya after a superb all-round display at the Gymkhana Ground in Nairobi yesterday.

Having skittled the Africans for just 91, the Scots finished the opening day on 121-3 with the first innings bonus points already in the bag. Gordon Drummond's makeshift side had gone into this clash as heavy underdogs but dominated from the moment the skipper won the toss and elected to make use of helpful bowling conditions.

Dewald Nel obliged by removing both openers before Richie Berrington clung on to a superb catch to dismiss Kenyan skipper Steve Tikolo off Drummond's bowling. Berrington and Drummond then combined to spark an amazing collapse which saw the home side lose their remaining seven wickets for just 17 runs.

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Greenock all-rounder Berrington claimed career-best figures of 3-13 from fourteen overs and took the key Kenyan wicket of top scorer Collins Obuya for a fighting forty.

In reply, Scotland shrugged-off the early loss of Durham's Kyle Coetzer with Dougie Lockhart and Qaism Shiekh staging a half- century stand. Lockhart and Ewan Chalmers both fell before the close but Sheikh finished unbeaten on 56 with his sights set on a second consecutive I-Cup century. The former Clydesdale left-hander has already stroked ten classy boundaries in his 108-ball innings. Despite watching his side seize the initiative, Pete Steindl, the Scotland coach, last night preached caution. He said: "It's been a great day and the boys have emerged with a lot of credit.

"After winning the toss it was important that our bowlers put the ball in good areas and they have done just that. But we are under no illusions. Kenya will come at us hard tomorrow, and today will count for nothing if we don't make the most of it."

Steindl reserved special praise for Berrington and Sheikh, adding: "Richie's catch was a fantastic effort and came at a crucial time. They were beginning to build a partnership and getting rid of Steve Tikolo was a key wicket. Richie then went on and bowled with great pace and in good areas.

"Qasim has shown his value to the team again. It was really hard work in the last session with the sun at its hottest but he proved what a real fighter he is.

"Patience will be the key again tomorrow and we have to try and build on today's work."

Scotland are already assured of six bonus points but need to force outright victory during the remaining three days to reclaim top spot from Afghanistan in the 7-team I-Cup table.