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Pakistan fix the Kenyans

After putting on a solid 317 for seven, Pakistan dismissed Kenya for a paltry 112 in the 34th over. Amol Karhadkar reports. First impression | Scorecard

cricket Updated: Feb 24, 2011 01:48 IST
Amol Karhadkar

If Sunday was about celebrating the arrival of international cricket at the Sri Lankan president's constituency, Wednesday was about sowing the seeds for development of the sport in the region.

Naturally, it was heartening to see students from various schools in the vicinity of the Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium occupying most of the seats in the East and West stands in their school whites.

Like Sunday, when Sri Lanka crushed Canada, the kids couldn't watch a close contest since the outcome of the match between Pakistan, the dark horses, and Kenya, who could emerge as the worst team in this edition, was pretty much decided by the halfway mark.

Although the game finished 75 minutes before the scheduled close, the school kids, along with sparring fans on the grass banks, and Pakistani fans who flew in to watch their team, had a ball as Pakistan crushed Kenya by 205 runs. After putting on a solid 317 for seven, Pakistan dismissed Kenya for a paltry 112 in the 34th over.

Bad start

Though the result was a given, the script wasn't as ideal as Pakistan would have wanted. After winning the toss, probably to give their reworked batting order time to settle, skipper Shahid Afridi chose to bat.

And though openers Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad did take time to get their eye in, having managed just 10 runs off the first five overs, both fell in the next two.

With the giant scoreboard blaring 12 for two, Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan consolidated the innings with a 98-run stand for the third wicket.

And though Kamran threw his wicket away, missing an attempted swing after charging down to Shem Ngoche, in came Misbah-ul-Haq and kept the scoreboard moving. But once Umar Akmal replaced Younis at the crease, the singles and twos were replaced by boundaries and sixes as Umar and Misbah cut loose.

Awesome Afridi
In reply, once Afridi introduced himself into the attack, the Kenyans started marking their attendance at the crease. Thanks to the skipper's five-for, Pakistan got some extra rest before travelling to Colombo on Thursday.