Pakistan in the quarters
KANDY – Asad Shafiq enjoyed a memorable World Cup debut as he stroked an unbeaten 78 yesterday to help Pakistan seal their place in the quarter-finals with a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in a rain-shortened match.
Chasing a Duckworth/Lewis target of 162 off 38 overs, Shafiq’s mature innings and a solid knock by Mohammad Hafeez (49) steered Pakistan to an easy win with 23 balls to spare. They finished on 164 for three.
Pakistan were never under pressure to score the runs and they chased down the total by collecting ones and twos and hitting the odd boundary.
“Shafiq played an amazing innings. We gave him a chance and he availed himself of it,” said Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi.
The result meant the 1992 champions joined Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka from Group A in the knock-out stages of the competition.
Earlier, pace duo Umar Gul, who took three for 36, and Abdul Razzaq rattled the Zimbabweans by reducing them to 13 for three inside six overs and they struggled to recover from that setback before rain intervened to mercifully halt their innings.
The Africans amassed 151 for seven after 39.4 overs but the victory target was adjusted according to the projected score the Africans would have reached had they been able to bat out their full quota of overs.
With the exception of Craig Ervine (52) and captain Elton Chigumbura (32 not out), the Zimbabwean batsmen struggled to come to terms with the stop-start nature of the contest due to three rain delays. (Reuters)