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Asia prove too good for Africa
June 05, 2007 21:56 IST
Last Updated: June 05, 2007 23:03 IST
The Asian men's team followed in the footsteps of their women's team by recording a thumping six-wicket victory over Africa XI in the Afro-Asia Cup Twenty20 match at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday.
After restricting the Africans to a manageable total of 109 for eight, the Asian batsmen kept their cool in reaching the target for the loss of four wickets in 15.5 overs.
Bangladesh's pocket dynamo Tamim Iqbal led the victory charge early on with a quick-fire 30 off 22 balls, including three fours and a six, before he stepped out to spinner Thandi Tshabalala and was easily stumped.
Iqbal had steadied the rocking Asia boat with a stand of 27 with Tillekaratne Dilshan, who hit an unbeaten 47 off only 36 balls, inclusive of six and six fours, after Asia XI were in a spot of bother at 34 for 3 in the sixth over.
There was enough firepower in the experienced Asia line-up to weather the cheap dismissals of Pakistan's Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal and Bangladesh's Mohd Ashraful and cruise home.
Dilshan and Asia captain Shoaib Malik (14 not out off 18 balls) ensured the momentum was maintained with a stand of 49 runs in 36 balls for the fifth wicket after coming together at 61 for four.
The battle-hardened duo gathered runs at a fast clip, both clouting sixes off the hapless Africa bowlers who showed they were not experienced enough to take on batsmen of class.
Earlier,Africa XI, put in to bat, floundered on a seaming track and were restricted to a modest 109 for eight.\
The Africans struggled to find their bearings against the Asian seam attack, with Bangladesh's Mashrafe Murtaza and Sri Lanka's Farveez Maharoof being the standout performers on the re-laid track.
South Africa's Loots Bosman was the lone batsman to appear in control and scripted a well-compiled 52, inclusive of three sixes and as many fours in 55 balls, before being out in the penultimate over.
The inexperience of the African batting line-up came to the fore once the opening partnership between South Africans Bosman and Ghulam Bodi was separated.
The left-handed Bodi miscued a pull shot and the skier was held well at mid-on by Shahid Afridi [Images].
Bosman later slammed Afridi for a four and two sixes in the Pakistan all-rounder's third over. The first six was over the straight field and then he swung the leg spinner over long-on for a second six in the same over.
Bosman then cracked Sreesanth for a six over mid-wicket, but the Indian speedster got his revenge when he had the South African caught when he tried another huge hit over mid-wicket.
Mortaza, who grabbed 2 for 17 in his four overs bowled on the trot, and Maharoof made the ball seam and bounce a bit to flummox the inexperienced Africa batsmen from Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Sreesanth picked 2 for 26.
From 21 for one, the African XI slid quickly to 51 for five, just past the halfway mark. It soon was 65 for six after 15 overs when Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzak picked his first wicket by sending back Nehemiah Odhiambo.