Cricket World Cup 2011

Preview: Pakistan vs Kenya

2011-02-23 10:43
Master blaster Misbah-ul-Haq. (AFP)

Hambantota - There is much at stake for both teams in this crunch clash. Pakistan will look to shake the recent and past scandals off, and Kenya will look to put their crushing opening match defeat behind them.


Hambantota, Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium

Form guide
Pakistan: LWWWL
Kenya: LWLWL

Pitch and conditions

It looks a typical subcontinental batting track and a run feast is expected.

Ones to watch

It's not the exciting Umar Akmal, the marauding Shahid Afridi, the blaster Abdul Razzaq, or the volatile Shoaib Akthar who captures the essence of this Pakistan team but the back-from-the-dead Misbah-ul-Haq.

In bowling terms, the loss of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir might hurt their Test team but Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib and the canny spinners Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal have enough skill in them to keep their ODI bandwagon up and running in style.

Collins Obuya will be keen to show some flamboyance, Steve Tikolo will be itching to script a memorable swan song, Alex Obanda is an attacking batsman and the young Seren Waters seems to possess the skill required to belong at this level.

Team news

Pakistan are keen on playing both Younis and Misbah in the XI but Afridi suggested that they might not be played at No.4 and 5 to ensure the run-rate doesn't slacken. It's also learnt that Shoaib Akhtar will be given a go despite concerns over his form.

Pakistan (probable): Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmad Shahzad, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi (capt), Abdur Razzaq, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Akhtar

Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande got hit on the side of the head by a ball in practice and there was some swelling, but he is expected to play.

Kenya (probable): Seren Waters, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, Rakep Patel, Steve Tikolo, Maurice Ouma (wk), Jimmy Kamande (capt), Thomas Odoyo, James Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo

Stats and trivia

Pakistan and Kenya have faced each other five times with Pakistan winning all the encounters. Kenya have gone past 150 only once against Pakistan.

Afridi has 288 sixes, the record for most sixes in one-dayers. Sanath Jayasuriya is second with 270. 



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