South Africa buried Kenya under an avalanche of runs to secure a comfortable 176-run victory in a Group C league match and confirm their place in the semi- finals of the ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament at Colombo today.
Electing to bat, South Africa amassed a huge 316 for five in their stipulated 50 overs with opener Herschelle Gibbs striking a fine 116 off 126 balls with 13 fours and three sixes. Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis came up with scores of 69 and 60 respectively as South Africa registered the first 300-plus total in the tournament so far.
In response, Kenya were bowled out for 140 in 46.5 overs, their captain Steve Tikolo once again waging a lonely battle. Tikolo, who had scored 93 in the 29-run loss to West Indies earlier, made 69 off 97 balls.
South Africa will now take on the winners of Sunday's match between India and England in the semi-final on September 25.
South Africa, who were lucky to get past West Indies in first league match of the group, proved far superior to the hapless Kenyan side who bowled and fielded poorly before coming up with an indifferent batting performance too.
Gibbs and Smith, who put on a record 159 runs for the opening wicket, made a controlled beginning, reserving their flamboyance for the latter part of their innings, but still scored at a very decent rate.
The two brought up the 100-run partnership in the 21st over after which both broke free. Soon they bettered the previous best partnership for a South African opening wicket against Kenya, which stood in the name of Gibbs and Boeta Dippenaar who had put on 115 at Kimberly.
Gibbs was the first to reach his half-century, scoring his 50 off 70 balls with seven boundaries. Smith quickly followed him to the milestone, taking 62 balls for his fifty which included four hits to the fence.
Kenya got their first breakthrough in the 28th over when wicketkeeper David Obuya effected the first of his three stumpings of the day to send back Smith who struck six fours in his 77-ball knock.
But Gibbs stepped up the attack after that and soon reached his hundred with a boundary to the fine leg fence. Gibbs then smashed Jimmy Kamande for two sixes and a four off successive balls before the bowler got his revenge. While trying to run the fifth ball of the over to third man, Gibbs only managed an outside edge and was caught by David Obuya.
Kallis and Dippenaar than added 73 runs for the third wicket before Kenya got three quick wickets.
Dippenaar, who made 31 with three boundaries and a six, and Kallis were both stumped in successive overs to return to pavilion within four runs of each other.
Dale Benkenstein was the only batsman to miss out on the run-feast as he was caught by Martini Suji off Collins Obuya for seven. Lance Klusener and Justin Ontong remained unbeaten on 18 and four respectively.
In contrast, the Kenyan innings was a familiar tale of meek capitulation. They lost their first two wickets with just five runs on the board with opener Ravindu Shah (3) and Brijal Patel (0) getting out cheaply.
Tikolo and Kennedy Otieno put up a semblance of fight in a 56-run third wicket stand but by then, the required run rate had already gone past eight an over. Otieno struggled to get the runs and took as many as 53 balls to score 16.
But Tikolo batted impressively and hit some glorious strokes. He hit ten boundaries in his knock before falling as the sixth wicket in the 36th over with the Kenyan total on 119.
With their captain went all hopes of Kenya reaching a respectable total. The last four wickets fell for the addition of 21 runs with Collins Obuya scoring 14 and Thomas Odoyo 10.