Given Kenya's recent run in the warm-up games and in the World Cup's opening match in India, the outcome of Wednesday's match to be played here seems pretty apparent — a win for Pakistan.

But that does not worry Team Kenya as it looks to salvage its reputation, hugely dented by the humiliating loss to New Zealand in Chennai.

“I thought the Chennai pitch played well, despite the fact that one or two deliveries kept low… It is not about us giving excuses. We played badly, we have to accept that and move on,” said the senior-most member of the Kenyan team, Steve Tikolo.

Describing the defeat in Chennai as something that happens when it is “not a good day,” he said that “the boys were very disappointed… and are ready to pick themselves up for tomorrow's game.”

Kenya had a longish session at the nets here and the focus was to look at areas where the team failed badly in the last game against New Zealand. “This morning's session was about rectifying those errors. Tomorrow we need to go out, believe in ourselves and play our best,” he said.

The Kenyan captain, Jimmy Kamande, took a nasty blow from a rising delivery on his right cheek during training and that side of his face has swollen up. But Kenyan coach Eldine Baptiste said that the injury was not serious.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, said that he wanted to play a “full strength side” because it will be the first match for his team in the tournament. “I don't think it's an easy game for us. The first game is always important.”

Afridi said his team was in good shape. Asked if he would rate his team as the dark horse to win the tournament, he said that his side was capable of defeating any team. “I must say Pakistan will be a dangerous side,” he said.

The team is preparing hard to win the World Cup so that it would be able to bring some cricket back home.

Asked about cricket experts writing off the team from making it to the semifinals, he said that the challenges grew higher out of such assertions.

“I would definitely hope to see my team in the semifinals,” he added.

Pakistan has played Kenya five times in ODIs and has won on all occasions. The teams have never played each other in the World Cup, but when the two met in the ICC Champions Trophy at Birmingham in 2004, Pakistan had won by seven wickets.

Pakistan goes into the match with a lot of worries about the off-field activities of some of its former players and a convincing 3-2 series win over New Zealand.

The teams (from): Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (capt.), Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Mohammed Hafiz, Junaid Khan, Younus Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq, Ahmad Shahzad, Misbah-ul-Haq.

Kenya: Jimmy Kamande (capt.), Tanmay Mishra, James Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, David Obuya, Thomas Odoyo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Peter Ongondo, Elijah Otieno, Morris Ouma, Rakesh Patel, Steve Tikolo, Seren Waters.

Umpires: Tony Hill & Nigel Llong. Third umpire: Daryl Harper. Fourth umpire: Shavir Tarapore. Match referee: Chris Broad. (AFP)
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