Cricket: Elephants and rhinos stop play: The ICC Trophy

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The Independent Online
UNTIL last Saturday, Kenya had been in the grip of such a severe drought that President Moi issued an urgent appeal for food aid as harvests withered in the relentless sun. Then the ICC Trophy began.

It was not just raining cats and dogs: this was elephants and rhinos. Of the four matches scheduled three had to be carried over to Sunday. The one that was completed brought the favourites, the Netherlands, a thumping win and four points against overawed Malaysia.

Kenya duly completed a nine-wicket demolition of Israel on Sunday and Papua New Guinea humiliated Gibraltar. But Canada could only cry in their beer as a virtual four-point certainty was flushed away in the rain. Having piled on 159 in a match reduced to 30 overs, Canada had Singapore at 49 for 8 with 10 overs left.

Only Bermuda's eight-wicket humbling of West Africa was completed on schedule on Sunday. Monday dawned fine but damp underfoot, which was the undoing of a strong Danish side. Having suffered the tournament's first hat-trick by the Hong Kong paceman, Stewart Brew, their bowlers floundered in the mud and Hong Kong matched Denmark's 192. But having lost two fewer wickets, Hong Kong snatched the points.

The weather had improved yesterday, but a late torrent forced four more games into a second day with Bangladesh and Denmark poised for crushing victories over East Africa and Fiji. The meetings between Hong Kong and Bermuda, the United States and United Arab Emirates are finely balanced.

Current standings are going to form with the Netherlands and Kenya on maximum points after two matches and Bangladesh likely to join them today - if it does not rain.

ICC TROPHY (Nairobi): Ireland 230 for 8 (50 overs, A Lewis 50); Papua New Guinea 88 for 7 (32.3 overs). Ireland bt Papua New Guinea on faster scoring rate.

Continuing today: United States 206 (47.5 overs, R Denny 61); United Arab Emirates 74 for 2 (17 overs). East and Central Africa 98 (36.2 overs); Bangladesh 30 for 1 (8 overs). Denmark 219 (49.3 overs, A Gregersen 50, A From 50); Fiji 58 for 8 (15 overs). Hong Kong 154 (47.2 overs, P Fordham 79; A Edwards 5-27); Bermuda 66 for 4 (23 overs).