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Pakistan beat Zimbabwe to put Ireland through

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2007 04:25 IST
Highlight Story

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 93 runs on Wednesday to put minnows Ireland through to the World Cup Super Eights.

Pakistan piled up 349 before bowling out Zimbabwe for 99 in their Group D clash at Sabina Park to take the tie on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Despite the win, Pakistan failed to make it to the second round with hosts West Indies and debutants Ireland going to the second round.

Last game
A tearful exit by Inzamam-ul-Haq was overshadowed by Imran Nazir's second career limited overs century in Pakistan's final World Cup match against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Inzamam delighted the small Sabina Park crowd with a brief cameo of 37 off 35 balls, but Nazir plundered 14 fours and eight sixes in 160 from 121 balls, as Pakistan, sent in to bat, were dismissed for 349 in 49.5 overs.

Last Sunday, Inzamam announced that this match would be his last one-dayer for Pakistan, and he would also give up the captaincy after a tournament overshadowed by the death of coach Bob Woolmer.

When he arrived, Nazir was well into stride, but he joined in the fun with two fours and three sixes before he skied an on-drive to extra cover off Tawanda Mupariwa in the 28th over.

As Inzamam retreated to the dressing room, the celebrating Zimbabwe players all rushed to shake his hand and offer their congratulations for a stellar career in which he played 378 one-dayers and scored 11,739 runs at an average of 39.52.

Meanwhile, his Pakistan teammates had descended the steps from the dressing room to form a guard of honour, and Inzamam burst into tears at the gesture.

By the time Inzamam departed, Pakistan were well in control, and Nazir never took his foot up off the throat of the Zimbabwe attack.

After Kamran Akmal was caught behind for 15 off Elton Chigumbura in the seventh over, and Shoaib Malik was caught at backward point for 21 in the 18th over, Nazir drove skipper Prosper Utseya to long-off for a single to reach his 50.

After he and Inzamam put on 70 for the third wicket, Nazir was dropped on 81 at deep mid wicket, when Friday Kasteni put down a skier off Gary Brent, who had Mohammad Yousuf caught and bowled for three off the very next delivery to leave Pakistan 170 for four in the 31st over.

Nazir was eyeing his landmark and reached his milestone, when he played forward defensively to Christopher Mpofu, and scampered a single to the short cover fielder.

Younis Khan had come to the wicket and was playing fluently before he too, was dropped on 26 by keeper Brendon Taylor off Sean Williams essaying a reverse sweep.

Younis went on to add 81 for the fifth wicket with Nazir before he was run out for 28 to leave Pakistan on 251 for five, with 10 overs remaining.

Nazir jammed his foot down hard on the accelerator and continued to maraud the the Zimbabwe attack.

After he was dropped on 135 at long-on by Chigumbura off Mupariwa, he flicked the same bowler through square leg for a single to reach his 150.

Pakistan however, continued to lose wickets, but they gathered 98 runs for the loss of their last five wickets from the last 10 overs, with Nazir dismissed for the highest individual score by a Pakistani in World Cup cricket, and Rao Iftikhar collected a career-best 32 off 16 balls.

Zimbabwe made one change to their line-up, bringing back Gary Brent for Anthony Ireland, and Pakistan had two changes, with Shahid Afridi and Danish Kaneria coming into the side for Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Mahmood.

Zimbabwe tied their opening match with Ireland last Thursday before losing to West Indies by six wickets on Monday, and they require a victory to have a chance of qualification for the Super Eight stage.

Pakistan lost the World Cup opener against West Indies by 54 runs last Tuesday, and then to Ireland last Saturday by three wickets to make an early exit from the competition.

Teams:

Pakistan: Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria.

Zimbabwe: Vusi Sibanda, Friday Kasteni, Chamu Chibhabha, Brendon Taylor, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura, Gary Brent, Prosper Utseya, Tawanda Mupariwa, Christopher Mpofu.