Kenya Cricketers look to redeem themselves at Worlds

Feb 19, 2011

If experience and history is what determines matches then New Zealand are poised to win their opening ICC World Cup match on Sunday(20) against Kenya  who will be entering the match as underdogs.

However it should not be forgotten that Kenya have made the World Cup semi-finals and could spring as a surprise in India.Despite slipping down the pecking order of the Associates, they have a slim chance of staging an enormous upset, owing chiefly to the Black Caps’ disastrous form over the past 12 months.

New Zealand had lost 14 of their last 16 matches. They recently lost 0-5 to India in India, then to Pakistan and just a couple of days ago, were mauled by India in a practice game.Kenya knows they cannot take any match lightly and cannot afford to falter against teams that are either of their level or lower in standards.

The two teams have met twice in the World Cup but its only one match that was played and that was four years in West Indies. In what was to be their first meeting, New Zealand's refused to take to the field in Nairobi due to security concerns. This handed Kenya an important walkover victory on their path to the semi-finals of the 2003 World Cup.

Kenya will count on their on form opener Seren Waters, to make quick runs upfront before experienced players like Steve Tikolo and Collins Obuya stabilize the batting in the middle overs. Captain Jimmy Kamande may be the bowler to trouble the New Zealand batsmen despite not being that experienced with the ball.

The New Zealand squad comprises quality players like Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum who can inflict punishment on Kenyan bowlers if not stopped early.

The Black Caps have a talented and threatening batting line-up, but their top order has struggled badly for consistency in their most recent outings. 

A healthy stock of spin bowlers - led by experienced captain Daniel Vettori - should be well suited to wickets in the subcontinent, but the retired Shane Bond will be missed when pace is called for.

The 11th Man

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