PAKISTAN STORM NEW ZEALAND

A whirlwind bowling and batting display saw Pakistan secure qualification for the Super League stage, as they beat New Zealand by eight wickets well within the first session of play.

The effects of heavy overnight rain in Colombo meant that it was a good toss to win, and three of the teams that did so on this final day of group matches, with the exception of Sri Lanka at the fast-drying Premadasa, inserted the opposition. New Zealand’s batsmen were up against a fiery pace attack, keen to prove themselves after their disappointing performance against Bangladesh two days earlier but really, they made the job easy for the bowlers.

All Anwer Ali Khan and Jamshaid Ahmed had to do was bowl on or around off-stump and the batsmen, playing away from their body, did the rest. There was cut and late swing, but really the batsmen attempted to play far too many shots than was prudent in the conditions. Had a catch been taken when New Zealand were 17 for 6 thanks to a burst of four wickets in eleven deliveries, it would have been hard to have seen them pass 40. Only Roneel Hira offered any resistance as, reprieved, he finished undefeated on 28 once New Zealand had been dismissed at the end of the 24. Khan finished with 5-34.

Chasing 77, Pakistan plundered the bowling. Driving, pulling and cutting with impunity, they raced to the target within 9 overs.

Pakistan now play Zimbabwe, Group D winners, in the Super League quarterfinal, a match which on the form both teams have shown so far in this tournament, Pakistan will either self-destruct, tied down by slow bowling, or utterly destroy the opposition.

Group A: New Zealand v Pakistan, Sinhalese Sports Club
PAKISTAN WON BY EIGHT WICKETS
Pakistan won the toss and elected to field
New Zealand: 77 off 24 overs (J. Ahmed 3-14, A.A. Khan 5-34)
Pakistan: 78 for 2 off 8.5 overs (A. Khan 30*)
Man of the Match: Anwer Ali Khan (Pakistan)

Filed February 11 2006