ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Sri Lanka v Kenya, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo

Kenya hope to avoid mismatch

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

February 28, 2011

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

March 1, Colombo
Start time 14:30 local time (09:00 GMT)

Kenya players stretch during practice, Colombo, February 28, 2011
Kenya's team is significantly weaker than the one that beat Sri Lanka in 2003 © AFP
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Big Picture

The last time Sri Lanka played Kenya in a World Cup, they did so despite security concerns in the country, choosing not to follow New Zealand, who forfeited their game in Nairobi. No amount of concerns over security would have prepared Sri Lanka for what happened: a shocking 53-run defeat against a spirited home side. It was 2003, and to borrow from the pop-sport anthem, it was time for Africa. Kenya were a seriously good side then, and would have had every right to feel indignant about not being a Test side. Eight years on, their side well and truly reflects the political turmoil the country has gone through, and the general neglect of the sport. Suffice to say, no such upset can be fantasised about this time.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have gone from strength to strength since 2003. All they will want is for the Colombo rains - which are never too far away any time of the year - to stay away, and then notch up the two points by playing solid cricket. There will be disappointment after Sri Lanka lost to Pakistan. It could result in the hosts having to play a better team in the quarter-final than they would ideally want, but there aren't many teams who can claim to have faced the ghosts that appear only under the Premadasa floodlights, and lived to tell the tale.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

Sri Lanka LWWWL


Pitch and conditions

Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for Tuesday, but that is hardly unusual for Colombo. The weathermen say chance of precipitation is 60%. Now that becomes slightly gloomy. Be that as it may, the game should become interesting if Kenya get to bat first and set Sri Lanka a fighting target under the lights. The pitch, though, hardly holds any demons otherwise.

Watch out for…

In his 15th year of international cricket, Thomas Odoyo is still going strong. His opening spell against Pakistan was the only positive Kenya could take away from their first game of the World Cup. They will need much more from him to compete against Sri Lanka.

Considering how successful Shahid Afridi's spin was against the Kenya batsmen, Muttiah Muralitharan could be in for a wicket-fest too.

Team news

Sri Lanka, strong favourites to win the World Cup, had one problem area when they started out. They have the class of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene and Nos. 3 and 4, and the hitting prowess of Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera in the lower order. The link between them, though, gets exposed every now and then. Chamara Silva's fifty against Pakistan, though, might just mean he is the lesser of the evils. The other Chamara, Kapugedera, doesn't have the results to match the flair he seeks to exhibit. Lasith Malinga is reportedly fit but whether he will play is not yet certain.

Sri Lanka: (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Thilan Samaraweera, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

Kenya: 1 Maurice Ouma, 2 Seren Waters, 3 Colins Obuya, 4 Steve Tikolo, 5 Tanmay Mishra, 6 Rakep Patel, 7 Jimmy Kamande, 8 Thomas Odoyo, 9 Nehemiah Odhiambo, 10 Shem Ngoche, 11 Elijah Otieno.

Try picking the XIs for tomorrow's game by playing Team Selector.

Stats and trivia

  • This is Steve Tikolo's fifth World Cup, and he possesses an all-round record that not many from stronger sides will mind - 739 runs and 15 wickets.

  • Although Sri Lanka co-hosted the 1996 World Cup, this is only the second World Cup game being played at the Premadasa. Australia and West Indies forfeited their Colombo matches back in 1996 because of security concerns.

  • Tikolo is six short of becoming only the second Kenyan to take 100 ODI wickets, after Odoyo.


"Sri Lanka look solid up there, but we have nothing to lose. They are the ones who would be under pressure to perform at home, and now obviously having lost to Pakistan, it's a must win game for them tomorrow."
Jimmy Kamande plays the underdogs card.

"Lasith bent over to pick up a cricket ball about two weeks ago and strained his back a little. He bowled in the last two practice sessions. He has bowled with a full run-up today and batted and fielded. We have a selection meeting in the evening and will decide what to do then."
Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, on Malinga's fitness.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 43 
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Posted by Ted on (March 1, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

Hope no further, slightest "sprains" or "strains" will happen to Malinga, which would be sufficient to elude him for weeks or months. Thisara Perera is a good replacement option from the elite lot to establish, although he is lacking Malinga's fire-power or striking ability as evident from the match against Pakistan.

Posted by Ankit on (March 1, 2011, 7:43 GMT)

why there is mention of Afridi, when this is a game between SL and Kenya?

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

I think we need to have Mathews batting at Number 6 the least. Also We needs to define the openers role clearly. If Dilshan and Upul are going to bat cuatiously, then better ask one of them to bat at No 3 and let Thisara open. So even if he gets out no issue others will catch up, if he fires it will be a bonus.

Posted by Harjinder on (March 1, 2011, 7:36 GMT)


Posted by Abhimanyu on (March 1, 2011, 7:31 GMT)

Kenya may get hammered 3rd time.

Posted by pathan imran on (March 1, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

i think today's match is onesided....bat first srilanka and make a huge runs on a borad...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

@Syed Hassaan Ahmed Dream on,if that Ind-Pak match happens he will not even reach double figures let alone a 50...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 7:00 GMT)

If Hussey is really coming back then Aussies now go favourites for the cup along with Pakistan. SL India have many areas to cover. What say guys!

Posted by pathan imran on (March 1, 2011, 6:53 GMT)

today's match is i think onesided....

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 1, 2011, 6:50 GMT)

Don't Risk malinga..! Simple formula Let's say we will loose to ausies without him also. But surely against NZ. in Quarters you are3rd & will meet either India or england as it goes on. use malinga from quarters . we can win with any wold combination . But plssss add Thisara against India. with including him to the team we have won a half of match.

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