Umar Akmal helps Pakistan post 317-7 against Kenya

Umar Akmal was one of four batsmen to score half-centuries as Pakistan overcame a sluggish start to post 317-7 against Kenya in their opening World Cup Group A match here on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old right-hander, playing his first World Cup match, top scored with a 52-ball 71 and gave the innings the final flourish with a rapid fire 118-run stand for the fifth wicket with Misbah-ul-Haq who hit a 69-ball 65.

Umar’s elder brother, Kamran, notched 55 and senior batsman Younis Khan made exactly 50 as Pakistan racked up 70 runs in the batting power-play on a flat, grassless pitch at the Mahinda Rajapakse stadium.

Haq, whose first scoring shot was a six, hit one more six and a single boundary, while Umar notched eight boundaries and a six before holing out off Thomos Odoyo who finished with 3-41, conceding 20 in wides in a total of 46 extras.

Earlier, both Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad managed just 10 runs in the first five overs with the new-ball pair of Odoyo and Elijah Otieno bowling three maidens between them.