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Pakistan enter the Super 8s in style

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pak_win.jpgPakistan entered the last eight with a convincing 82 run win over Netherlands at Lord's. It was a real team performance by Pakistan with their batsmen showing great intent posting an imposing 175. The spinners then led by Shahid Afridi (4-11) tore apart the batting line up with the Dutch managing just 93. This game decided the last spot for the Super Eight with Pakistan joining England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in the quest for a semi-final place.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first which meant that a victory by 25 runs would see them through to the Super 8s. Kamran Akmal was sent in to open the innings along with Salman Butt and the wicketkeeper-batsman made a good start dispatching two boundaries in the 2nd over of the game. Butt then got into the act as he took Schiferli for a six and then a four to give Pakistan a great start. Ten Doeschate was then introduced into the attack and he struck straight away getting Butt caught at cover for 18. Shoaib Malik who came in at number three got going from the word go as he collected two fours off Ten Doeschate.

Pakistan were 60-1 after six overs before Akmal decided to flex his muscles dispatching Borren for a huge six followed by a four. Pakistan were clearly looking for a score of around 200 to ensure their survival in the tournament. Akmal was looking impressive out in the middle as he clobbered another six off Ten Doeschate but in the very next over he was out caught in the deep for 41. The experienced duo of Malik and Younis Khan got together to resurrect the innings and they started out well rotating the strike with ease. But Malik who was playing nicely until now, pulled one straight to deep mid-wicket to leave his team at the score of 99-3 at the end of 13 overs.

Misbah Ul Haq who is known for his intelligent batting did just that as he kept the scoreboard ticking and also collected the odd boundary in between. Ten Doeschate was taken for 15 runs in the 16th over, including a six by Younis. Khan then spanked Seelar for two maximums before getting out in the same over caught at long-on for 36. Shahid Afridi walked in at number six in a situation which was tailor made for him, with just 2 overs to play. He smashed Nannes for a huge six but was sent packing off the very next ball for 13. Pakistan ended the innings at 175-5 which seemed like a good enough score to ensure their passage to the Super 8s.


Netherlands needed a good start to have any chance of causing an upset and they started out well with Reekers helping himself to three boundaries in the first 8 balls. But Mohammad Aamir got his revenge getting Reekers caught at square leg for 13. Sohail Tanvir then bowled a tight over with just four runs coming off it. Saeed Ajmal was introduced in the 7th over and he started out well giving away just 5 runs. Netherlands were struggling to get a move on with just 42 runs coming off the first 7 overs and it got worse when Afridi struck with his first ball. Zuiderent was undone by a splendid yorker bowled by the leg spinner.

Ajmal then got two wickets in his second over with some fine spin bowling. Borren was out sweeping for 2 and then Kervezee was deceived in flight to be out stumped for 21. The Dutch were looking out of sorts with none of their batsmen being able to negotiate the spinners. Afridi was troubling them with almost every delivery as he collected two more scalps in his 3rd over. At 62-6, the Netherlands were surely out of the tournament despite their magnificent performance against England. Ten Doeschate deposited Malik for a six but was soon out stumped for 14.

Afridi then finished his spell with a bang as he picked up his fourth wicket to finish with match winning figures of 4-11. The game was wrapped up in the 18th over with Umar Gul cleaning up Seelar's leg stump. It was a comfortable win by 82 runs for Pakistan with Kamran Akmal getting the man of the match award. The pocket dynamo also became the keeper with the most stumpings in a single T20 international.


Pakistan 175-5 (20 overs)

Akmal 41                  Seelar 2-36

Netherlands 93 all out (17.3 overs)

Kervezee 21            Afridi 4-11

Photograph Copyright: ICC

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