Pakistan continued their march in the World Cup with a professional batting and bowling performance in a 129run win against United Arab Emirates in Napier on Wednesday.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad fell seven short of his maiden World Cup hundred though he was drop two times in his batting, while Haris Sohail (70) and skipper MisbahulHaq chipped in with 65 which helped Pakistan to post a big 3396 on a flat McLean Park pitch. They then restricted the UAE to 2108 in their 50 overs.
The win gives Pakistan four points in as many games as they continued their fight for a place in the quarterfinals. The top four teams from each of the two pools of seven will reach the quarterfinals.
A required rate of sixplus an over was always beyond UAE’s reach but after losing their first three wickets with just 25 on the board two to paceman Sohail Khan Anwar and Khurram Khan took the fight to the Pakistan bowlers adding 83 for the fourth wicket. Anwar hit four boundaries and two sixes during his 88ball knock and with 270 runs in four matches became the top rungetter in the tournament. Khan hit three fours and a six off 54 deliveries.
Pakistan’s bowling was hampered by the absence of spearhead Mohammad Irfan who hurt his hip during a fall in the field and could bowl only three overs.
The team said Irfan’s injury was not serious and he was held back as precaution. Wahab Riaz, Khan and Shahid Afridi took two wickets apiece. Shehzad and Sohail restored Pakistan during their second wicket stand of 160 after they lost out of form Nasir Jamshed for four in the fourth over.
Guruge could have had Shehzad in his fourth over but Khurram dropped a sharp chance when the batsman was on eight and three runs later Shehzad got another life off Mohammad Naveed. Detailed on Sports Page