Kiwis take flight in World Cup, thrash Kenya by 10 wkts

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R Eswar

Chennai, Feb 20 (PTI) Pacer Hamish Bennett picked up acareer-best four-wicket haul as New Zealand trounced Kenya by10 wickets in a totally lop-sided World Cup Group A encounterhere today.

Electing to bat first, the Kenyans were sent packing fortheir lowest World Cup total of 69 in just 23.5 overs beforethe Kiwis overhauled the paltry target in eight overs.

With just 31.5 overs played, it was less than a third ofwhat a full cricket one-dayer would be.

Kiwi opener Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum scoredquick-fire knocks of 39 and 26 respectively to take their teamhome within three hours.

Earlier, Bennett was the wrecker-in-chief for NewZealand, who came into the mega-event rather low on confidenceafter losing successive ODI series to Bangladesh and India afew months ago.

His four wickets were instrumental in reducing theKenyans to their lowest score after the 104 against the WestIndies in the 2003 World Cup. This was also the fifth lowestby any team in the World Cup history.

Playing only his ninth ODI for New Zealand after taking11 wickets from six matches against Pakistan at home recently,Bennett ripped through the clueless Kenyan batting line-up byclaiming four wickets in the space of 10 balls as his dreamfirst spell read 5-0-16-4.

Bennett''s earlier best came a fortnight ago againstPakistan in Auckland when he took 4 for 46.

Bennett''s pace partners, Tim Southee (3/13) and JacobOram (3/2) shared the other six Kenyan wickets.

For Kenya, only three batsmen -� opener Seren Waters(16), Collins Obuya (14) and Indian-origin Rakep Patel (16 notout) -� got into double figures.

Such was the capitulation that the last three Kenyanplayers -� Nejhemiah Odhiam, Shem Ngoche and Elijah Otieno --departed without even disturbing the scorecard. .

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