CHISINAU, MOLDOVA: Ireland got their 2013 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Zone Group III campaign off to a perfect start after defeating Kenya 3-0 to consign the African nation to last place in Pool C.
The first point was awarded to Ireland by way of a walkover after Kenya fielded the wrong player and there was no way back into the contest for the Kenyans.
Sinead Lohan defeated Shufaa Ruwa 61 60 to clinch the tie before Jenny Claffey and Rachael Dillon hammered home the advantage with a 60 63 triumph over Caroline Oduor and Evelyn Otula.
The Irish team will compete against hosts Moldova on Friday for the right to contest the promotion play-off.
In Pool D, Liechtenstein remained on course to reach the last four with an emphatic 3-0 win against No. 4 seeds Norway.
Kathinka von Deichmann and Stephanie Vogt were once again flawless, combining to win all three points against the Norwegians, putting them in pole position to reach the promotion play-offs.
The other tie in Pool D saw Madagascar register its first victory in this year’s competition with a 2-1 triumph against Cyprus.
The afternoon ties saw Morocco storm to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Namibia thanks to singles wins for Nadia Lalami and Fatima El Allami as well as a doubles triumph for the same two players.
The contest between Armenia and Malta was a closer affair. Anna Movsisyan breezed to a 60 61 victory over Rosanne Dimech before Elaine Genovese levelled for Malta with a 62 61 win against Nune Khachatryan.
Dimech and Genovese battled past Movsisyan and Ofelya Poghosyan 62 26 63 in one hour and 50 minutes to seal the win for Malta.