Pakistan coast to five-wicket win

Sunday, September 9, 2007

ICC World Twenty20 warm-ups, 2nd day

A solid opening stand of 94 between Salman Butt and Mohammad Hafeez helped Pakistan ease to a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka at Centurion. Butt scored 51 and Hafeez 45 as Pakistan chased down the target of 163 with more than an over to spare.

After being put in to bat, Sri Lanka were off to a good start with Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga adding 45 in five overs. Mohammad Asif, who missed the warm-up against Zimbabwe due to a thigh injury, removed Tharanga for 30. Hafeez tied the batsmen down with his offspinners, conceding 18 off his four overs and picking up two wickets. Sri Lanka lost their way a bit at 80 for 4, before Jehan Mubarak revived the innings, sharing stands of 36 and 41 with Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan respectively.

Pakistan responded smoothly thanks to Hafeez and Butt as the seamers came in for a bit of stick. The Sri Lankans managed to pick up a few wickets but by then Pakistan were well on course to victory. Shoaib Malik steered his side home with an unbeaten 34.

Kenya upset Bangladesh by six wickets and one ball to spare in the second round of warm-up matches in Benoni. A fantastic effort from Kenya's bowlers dismissed Bangladesh for only 116 and all their batsmen chipped in to achieve the target in the final over.

Steve Tikolo's decision to field paid off when Thomas Odoyo dismissed two of Bangladesh's big hitters - Nazimuddin and Aftab Ahmed - cheaply. Tamim Iqbal offered resistance during his 56 off 41 balls that included one six but got no support from the other end. Aftab's 17 was the second highest score in an innings where only three batsmen got to double figures. Odoyo's spell of 2 for 21 swung the advantage Kenya's way and he was well backed up by Nehemiah Odhiambo, who took 3 for 37, and Lameck Onyango's 2 for 19.

Kenya approached their small target sensibly with the Obuya brothers - David and Collins - adding 41 in eight overs for the first wicket. They kept abreast with the required run-rate and it was Steve Tikolo who provided the acceleration, during his 36 off 38 balls that helped Kenya over the finish line.

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?