ICC World Cup 2011 – Pakistan Vs Kenya – Preview




ICC World Cup 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

Despite a convincing series victory in New Zealand, Pakistan, as always, enter this World Cup as dark horses. Marred by never ending controversies, scandals and constant chopping and changing of captains, you could be forgiven for counting out Pakistan’s chances in this World Cup. But the Men in Green are known to fight back when you least expect them to.

Pakistan have a unusual variety in their batting lineup which goes all the way down to No. 8. In Ahmed Shehzad, they have unearthed an opener who can give them flying starts and in Mohammad Hafeez, they have someone who can play sheet anchor. Kamran Akmal at No.3 will be looking to continue the work done by the openers followed by Younis Khan who stabilises the middle order. Misbah-ul-Haq is in the form of his life having played a couple of match winning knocks in New Zealand. Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq can hit the ball out of the park at will and Pakistan will be looking at the trio to provide the impetus in the Powerplays and in the slog overs. The bowling is pretty decent with Akhtar and Razzaq leading the attack but their run in the tournament will be decided by the form of Umar Gul. With the match being played at Hambantota, a track that will provide assistance to the spinners, Abdul Rehman or Saeed Ajmal might be expected to play ahead of Wahab Riaz.

Kenya, on the other hand, will want to put behind their opening match of the tournament where they collapsed for 72 against the Kiwis. They will be looking to the talented Seren Waters and Alex Obanda to play out the new ball and protect the middle order from the pace of Shoaib Akhtar. The experienced Steve Tikolo and Collins Obuya provide flair to the middle order along with wicketkeeper Maurice Ouma. The veteran Thomas Odoyo will be expected to provide the fireworks at the end and he will also be entrusted with the responsibility of opening the bowling attack. Skipper Jimmy Kamande was hit on the head during practice but is expected to play.

Pakistan have won all of their five encounters against the African nation but Kenya will be looking to take inspiration from Netherlands’ performance against England and pull off the first upset of the tournament. Whether it is the pace of Shoaib Akhtar or the big hitting of Shahid Afridi or an upset victory for Kenya, Hambantota can be assured of some entertainment this evening.

Probable Teams:

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (Wicketkeeper), Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Abdul Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar.

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

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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