Pakistan played their first match against the minnows Kenya in the World Cup 2011. Kenya, who had already sufferred big defeat in their opening game against New Zealand, failed to show any sign of improvement. Pakistan crushed gthem by 205 runs.
Pakistani Middle Order Creates WC Record
Batting first after winning the toss, the openers Hafeez and Shehzad struggled against Kenyan bowlers. After departure of both the openers by 7th over, Kamran Akhmal and Younis Khan laid the foundation of a strong inning. Both scored half-centuries. Misbah and Umar Akhmal increased the run rate and in the end Pakistan scored 317/7. The four batsmen scored half-centuries. This is the first instance in an innings of World Cup that four batsmen have scored half-centuries. Kenyan bowling was not able to control run flow. Odoyo was their best bowler taking 3 wickets.
Kenyan Batsmen Disappoint Again
New Zealand bundled them for 69. Against Pakistan they touched three figures and chasing 318 for victory, got out in 34th over on 112. Afridi was exceptional taking 5 wickets. All the bowlers including Umar gul who took 2 wickets, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq and Abdur Rehman did not give many loose deliveries. Obuya scored a fighting 47 runs, but the big chase needed partnerships and nobody was ready to stay on crease with him.
2003 Semifinalists Almost Knocked Out
The 2003 semifinalists Kenya are almost knocked out with 2 heavy defeats. As if 10 wickets loss was not enough, this time they lost by 205 runs. Batting first or second did not make any difference to the end result. With these two heavy defeats, they are almost all set to finish last in their group, and become the first time to be knocked out of the tournament.
Pakistani team showed the sign of strength. It can only happen with Pakistan that in next match nothing will work and they will lose. But, that is why nobody dares predict about Pakistan’s fortune. Yet, considering today’s play they appeared second good team of World Cup, after Sri Lanka. Their batsmen, bowlers and even fielders (if some mis-hits and catches can be forgotten considering they have 3 run outs in the match) was above par. The teams looked united. And, if they continue with this unity and form by the end of Group matches, they will be the favorites to lift the trophy.
Stars of the Day
Although 4 half-centuries were scored in Pakistan’s innings, Umar Akhmal’s inning took them to a formiddable total. The 52 ball 71 run knock made sure Pakistan scores above 300 runs, despite a slow start by the openers. Afridi on the other hand took 5 wickets giving just 16 runs, record performance by any World Cup captain. Both performed exceptional. On their day, both alone can win the matches for Pakistan.