Pakistan and West Indies aim to kick start World Cup campaigns

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Pakistan and West Indies will look to bounce back from debilitating opening Cricket World Cup defeats when they meet in Christchurch.

Misbah ul-Haq played a captain's innings of 76 but could not stop Pakistan crashing to a sixth consecutive World Cup loss against bitter rivals India in Adelaide.

But the greater humiliation arguably belonged to West Indies, who were unable to defend 304 against associate nation Ireland.

Despite wretched recent form - West Indies have lost seven of their past eight one-day internationals, with Pakistan on the receiving end in 11 of their last 13 - both sides boast match-winners capable of firing them out of their respective slumps.

"It's an important game for us, and also for West Indies," Misbah said. "We both need to win this game, so I think both teams will be looking forward for this game, mentally and physically ready for that. 

"Obviously if we need to do well in this World Cup, I think this is an important game, and both teams need to win that, and we know that. Everybody is focusing and trying hard."

West Indies skipper Jason Holder has endured a turbulent start to his time in charge of the team but was handed a timely boost with the news that all-rounder Darren Sammy and slow left-arm bowler Sulieman Benn will be fit to take on Pakistan.

Sammy blasted a typically muscular 89 from 67 balls against Ireland but back soreness restricted him to three overs as his efforts with the ball subsided badly.

Benn was forced to watch on from the sidelines at Nelson but is poised for a return, with Andre Russell a candidate to make way.

New Zealand's 331-6 at Hagley Oval in the tournament opener showed that both bowling units could face a thankless task, with the spectre of two absent stars looming over the contest.

Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal and West Indies Sunil Narine were the numbers one and two in the ICC ODI bowling rankings last year when the game's governing body came down on the duo's apparently suspect bowling actions and both teams are significantly weaker as a result.

In the batting department, Pakistan made the surprising call of opening with veteran campaigner Younis Khan against India - only the third time in 262 ODIs that he has face the new ball - and Nasir Jamshed could push for a recall at the top of the order.

Umar Akmal's erratic form behind the stumps is once again under the microscope, with Sarfraz Ahmed the alternative.