Pakistan cruise past UAE


Published: Wednesday 4th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Pakistan boosted their chances of reaching the Cricket World Cup quarter-finals by defeating the United Arab Emirates by 129 runs in Napier.

A second-wicket partnership of 160 between Ahmed Shehzad (93) and Haris Sohail (70) and a quick-fire 65 from captain Misbah-ul-Haq helped Pakistan amass 339 for six in their 50 overs, and although the UAE lost only eight wickets in their reply, they made just 210, leaving them well short of their target.

Victory at McLean Park moved Pakistan up to fourth in Pool B at the expense of Ireland, with the two sides going head to head in Adelaide on March 15.

Pakistan’s total would have been challenging for an established nation, let alone an associate, although they did not get off to the best of starts.

The match was only 3.3 overs old when Nasir Jamshed went looking to pull and succeeded only in skying Manjula Guruge’s short delivery to mid-on to depart for four.

Sohail joined Shehzad at the crease and it was not long before the scoreboard began to tick over, with the Pakistan total passing 100 in the 23rd over.

Shehzad, dropped in the seventh and eighth overs, lifted Amjad Javed over the ropes for the first six of the match at the end of the 16th over and was raising his bat to celebrate fifty – his 11th in ODIs – in the 24th over.

Sohail joined his batting partner in passing the half-century mark in the very next over off Mohammad Tauqir – which also pushed their partnership past the 100-run mark.

Sohail clubbed Krishna Chandran to the mid-wicket boundary as the partnership passed 150 at the start of the 32nd over but his time at the crease came to an end in the next over as he mis-hit Mohammad Naveed to mid-on to depart for 70 from 83 balls.

Shehzad was run out for 93, from 105 balls, shorty afterwards but with captain Misbah joining Sohaib Maqsood in the middle, Pakistan were well set on 176 for three with 15.5 overs to play.

Misbah and Maqsood put on 75 runs in 8.5 overs for the fourth wicket, but their quick-fire partnership ended in the 43rd over with Pakistan on 251 as Maqsood, having made 45 from 31 deliveries, clubbed to backward point where Rohan Mustafa juggled repeatedly before taking the catch.

Misbah continued to score freely after Maqsood’s departure and brought up his 41st ODI fifty at the end of the 46th over before he and Umar Akmal (19) fell to Guruge in the penultimate over.

Shahid Afridi clubbed 21 runs from seven balls in the closing stages to pass 8,000 runs in ODI cricket as Pakistan set UAE an unlikely target of 340 to win the match.

Rahat Ali drew first blood for Pakistan in the seventh over of UAE’s innings when Amjad Ali (14) chopped on to his own stumps to leave the associate nation on 19 for one.

The score had not changed when Sohail Khan tricked Andri Berenger into edging behind five balls later to leave UAE two down and facing an uphill battle.

Their challenge became even more difficult when Krishna Chandran offered a leading edge to give Khan his second wicket and leave UAE struggling on 25 for three after 10 overs.

But Khurram Khan and Shaiman Anwar posted 83 to steady the ship, before the former was caught at backward square leg off Maqsood, going for 43.

Anwar progressed for a third ODI 50 off 75 balls, but when he holed out to Afridi for 62, the score was left on 140 for five and the game was close to being up.

Rohan Mustafa did not help matters, caught at short fine leg off Afridi for a second-ball duck, but a 68-stand between Amjad Javed and Swapnil Patil at least added some credibility.

Javed (40) took on one shot too many and was caught at long on off Wahab Riaz, while Patil was cleaned up by the same bowler for 36, leaving the UAE out of time and hope.

Published: Wednesday 4th March 2015 by The News Editor

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