Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tonge heroics in vain as nervy Pakistan win

Johannesburg: Pakistan struggled hard to manage a five-wicket win over West Indies in a Group A match of the Champions Trophy at the Wanderers here on Wednesday. online sports
Chasing a paltry target of 134 runs, Pakistan's top order collapsed but Man of the Match Umar Akmal played a composed unbeaten 41 and stand-in skipper Shahid Afridi, leading in place of injured Younis Khan, remained not out on 17 to see his team home safely in 30.3 overs with five wickets in hand.
Young West Indies captain Floyd Reifer's decision to bat proved costly as teenage paceman Mohammad Aamir and Umar Gul took advantage of a lively wicket and grabbed three wickets each to bowl them out for 133 in 34.3 overs. sports news
The depleted West Indies side never recovered from a poor start and had it not been lower-order batsman Nikita Miller's gutsy 51, they wouldn't have crossed the century-mark. Miller struck his maiden half-century and smashed one six and six boundaries in his 57-ball knock.
Darren Sammy (25) and Devon Smith (18) were the other two batsmen to get to double figures on a night of dismal performance.
The 17-year-old Aamir returned with figures of 3-24 off his seven overs in his sixth one-day appearance while fast bowler Gul bagged 3-28 off eight overs. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal also picked up two for 16.
While chasing, Pakistan faced some serious problems as Gavin Tonge picked up four wickets to leave them struggling at 76 for five.
Pakistan also started on a poor note with both the openers Kamran Akmal and Imran Nazir making five runs each before returning to the pavilion. Former skipper Shoaib Malik and comeback man Mohammad Yousuf also got good starts but couldn't convert their identical 26 to a big score.
But Akmal and Afridi held their nerves with their 58-run unbroken partnership for the sixth-wicket and as Pakistan romped without suffering any more damages.


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