Cricket World Cup 2011

Preview: Kenya vs Sri Lanka

2011-03-01 10:01
Elijah Otieno and David Obuya warm up during Kenya's training session. (AP)

Colombo - Kenya are battling a coaching crisis, not to mention horrendous form, while Sri Lanka will be looking for their first win.

There is some history between the two teams, as in their last encounter in the 2003 the Kenyans, albeit a far stronger side in those days, managed a huge upset, beating the Sri Lankans by 43 runs.

The 2011 World Cup is unlikely to offer the same upset, with a significantly under-par Kenya coming up against a significantly stronger Sri Lanka.


Colombo, R.Premadasa Stadium

Form guide coming into the World Cup
Sri Lanka LWWWL

Watch out for
In his 15th year of international cricket, Thomas Odoyo is still going strong. His opening spell against Pakistan was the only positive Kenya could take away from their first game of the World Cup. They will need much more from him to compete against Sri Lanka.

Considering how successful Shahid Afridi's spin was against the Kenya batsmen, Muttiah Muralitharan could be in for a wicket-fest too.

The main attraction, though, should be the return to action of flamboyant Lasith Malinga, whose pace and low, slingy action may well cause significant problems for the Kenyan batsmen.

In Kenya's favour, however, is the fact that Seren Waters, although he's not shown it yet, has classy strokes and could enjoy the ball coming onto the bat a bit more.

Team news

Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Silva, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Kenya: Maurice Ouma, Seren Waters, Colins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Tanmay Mishra, Rakep Patel, Jimmy Kamande, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Shem Ngoche, Elijah Otieno.

Pitch and conditions

Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for Tuesday, but that is hardly unusual for Colombo. The weathermen say chance of precipitation is 60%. Now that becomes slightly gloomy. Be that as it may, the game should become interesting if Kenya get to bat first and set Sri Lanka a fighting target under the lights. The pitch, though, hardly holds any demons otherwise.

Stats and trivia
This is Steve Tikolo's fifth World Cup, and he possesses an all-round record that not many from stronger sides will mind - 739 runs and 15 wickets.

Although Sri Lanka co-hosted the 1996 World Cup, this is only the second World Cup game being played at the Premadasa. Australia and West Indies forfeited their Colombo matches back in 1996 because of security concerns.

Tikolo is six short of becoming only the second Kenyan to take 100 ODI wickets, after Odoyo.


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