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23-Feb-2011 08:36:00 GMT
Pakistan vs Kenya, Group A, World Cup 2011, Hambantota

Pakistan Elect to Bat Against Kenya

Hambantota: Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and decided to bat first against Kenya in their opening World Cup match in Hambantota, Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis believes the recent spot-fixing scandal will not have a detrimental effect on their World Cup campaign.

Former Test captain Salman Butt and pacemen Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were banned on charges of corruption relating to last year's Lord's Test against England.

But Waqar said his team, who are in action for the first time since the bans were announced, are not worried about the past.

Pakistan are also eager to put behind them their tragedy-hit 2007 tournament.

Four years ago, Pakistan suffered an embarrassing three-wicket defeat at the hands of outsiders Ireland in Kingston and crashed out in the first round.

The top four teams qualify for the quarterfinals from each of the two groups in the current edition. Captain Shahid Afridi said his team will take all opponents seriously.

The current Pakistan squad has only four survivors from that Irish defeat - Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal - but Afridi said no player has forgotten the shattering loss.

Pakistan opener Ahmed Shahzad and middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq hit centuries in the first warm-up match against Bangladesh last week and senior batsman Younis Khan scored 80 in a lost cause against England.

Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande vowed to have a different approach against Pakistan, after his team was shot out for a paltry 69 against New Zealand.

"Next game, it'll be different opposition and a different approach from us. I would be happy as long as we improve each and every game," said Kamande, whose team reached the semifinal in the 2003 World Cup.

Pakistan have won all their five one-day internationals against Kenya.

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