Sri Lanka to play Scotland in World Cup opening round

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 4, 2007 (AFP) – Hosts West Indies, England, South Africa and Sri Lanka will fire the opening shots in their World Cup campaigns on Monday at the start of series of warm-up matches.

West Indies, bidding to become the first host nation to win the title, face Kenya in Jamaica, England will look to pile up the runs against debutants Bermuda at St Vincent while the world’s leading team South Africa clash with Ireland in Trinidad.

Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, will play Scotland in Barbados.

West Indies captain Brian Lara believes his team have the ability to reach at least the semi-finals as they bid to win the title for a third time but first since 1979.

“We are looking to get to the semi-finals and then take it from there,” said Lara.

“We have a very good record at home, and the players are really looking forward to this major event. We have a fit team that is ready to go. We have the ingredients to do well.”

At Kingstown, England skipper Michael Vaughan will test his fitness after a combination of knee and hamstring injuries meant he has played in just three of his team’s 35 one-dayers.

He sat out the tri-nations win over Australia when Andrew Fli