Can The Minnows Give Pakistan A Run For Their Money?




Cricket Kenya

Cricket Kenya

Known for their special affinity to controversies and unpredictability, the Pakistan team would be looking forward to start their World Cup campaign on a positive note. They will be playing their first match against Kenya at Hambantota.

Kenya had a dismal start to the tournament with a humiliating loss against the Kiwis which sort of justified ICC’s call to cut down the number of teams participating in the next edition. They will have to pull up their socks and play a more aggressive game so as to give Pakistan a fight, if not beat them, and prove the governing body wrong.

Pakistan have played 5 ODIs against Kenya so far and have won all five games. This is also the first time that these two teams would be playing against each other in a World Cup.

The pitch is a typical sub-continent one and a run feast can be expected today. Pakistan have a very good batting line-up, young Umar Akmal, boom boom Shahid Afridi, reliable Abdul Razzaq, young Misbah-ul-Haq and former test Capitan Younis Khan in the middle backed up by a speedy bowling attack. Pacer Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, spinner Abdur Rehman and Sajeed Ajmal have enough skill to trouble batsmen in ODIs.

Also Ahmed Shehzad provides the much-needed fire at the top order.

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.

The African nation was bowled out for a mere 69 runs and New Zealand chased it down with utmost ease, requiring only 8 overs to reach the target without losing a single wicket. Even in that performance, there was evidence that they possess a few batsmen with some flair. Collins Obuya and Steve Tikolo will be itching to show what they really are capable of. Alex Obanda is an attacking batsman and the young Seren Waters seems to possess the skill required to belong at this level. They beat Netherlands in a friendly in Dubai and lost a close game in a warm-up encounter in this tournament.

All the Kenyan players need is a bit of self- confidence and they can definitely be a team to reckon with in the future.

Both the teams have a lot to prove in this game and they will be keen to go all guns blazing. We, on the other hand, can just sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn and hope for some good quality competitive cricket from these cricketing nations.

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Nupoor Bansal

Author:

Hey, I'm Nupoor Bansal, 20, currently pursuing Journalism from DU. I have always been immensely interested in both playing and watching sports. Like most other cricket fanatics Sachin Tendulkar is THE God for me. Badminton, Tennis and Football are the other sports that interest me.

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