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Pakistan Look To Emulate ‘92


World Cup hopefuls Pakistan open their campaign in a few hours hoping to emulate the heroics of Imran Kahn’s men circa-1992.

What a build up to the tournament the men in green have had.

Banned from hosting home games on the back of ongoing political violence, team members guilty of match fixing and a side in utter disarray have not made this an easy few months for captain Afridi.

Fast forward to today and this is a side that many are hailing as potential candidates to walk away with the game’s most sought after silverware.

Many are deeming the spirit of this team as being much like the current Pakistan in-form player Misbah-ul-Haq. He was never supposed to be here. He was plagued by bad form, was showing his age and just as critics had completely written him off, Pakistan made him Test captain.

Cue a man revitalised that has seen his career rise from the ashes.

This team has shown their abilities in the build up to this tournament, albeit against an out-of-form Black Caps side.

They have shown great depth in Misbah and Younis Khan building from the front, and the Akmal brothers and Afridi finishing in style.

Kenya on the other hand have looked a side out of their depth in this tournament, and with current talks of associate nations not being allowed to take part in following World Cups, will be looking to prove themselves today.

Their resounding defeat at the hands of a mediocre New Zealand will force this XI to go out and play aggressively here.

There were flashes of talent in the likes of Collins Obuya and stalwart Steve Tikolo, however the entire team will need to shine in order to beat a confident Pakistan.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Ahmad Shahzad, 3 Kamran Akmal (wk), 4 Younis Khan, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Misbah-ul-Haq, 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Abdur Razzaq, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Shoaib Akhtar

Kenya (probable) 1 Seren Waters, 2 Alex Obanda, 3 Collins Obuya, 4 Rakep Patel, 5 Steve Tikolo, 6 Maurice Ouma (wk), 7 Jimmy Kamande (capt), 8 Thomas Odoyo, 9 James Ngoche, 10 Shem Ngoche, 11 Nehemiah Odhiambo

The pitch is rumoured to be a typical subcontinent batting track with a run feast expected.

Pakistan-if batting first- will do damage here against a mediocre African bowling attack.

Cast your eye on Ahmed Shehzad as he provides the flair at the top of the order. This man thrives on playing straight and will look to clear the ropes.

As always Afridi could very well notch up a high score as he looks to wrap up his career in a blaze of glory.

For Kenya- Tikolo will look to convert his domestic form onto the international stage. This man has been around the block and, if he finds batting partners sticking around, could set off some fireworks. He is a safe bet to top score for the African minnows.

Kenya has never beaten Pakistan on the international stage, and with both of these teams in a position whereby a loss simply won’t do, look for this game to be a lot tighter than the bookies forecast.







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