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Pakistan thrash Scotland
September 12, 2007 21:13 IST
Shahid Afridi [Images] and Umar Gul wreaked havoc with the ball as Pakistan kicked off their Twenty20 World Cup campaign with a thumping 51-run victory over lowly Scotland in a Group D match at Kingsmead, Durban, on Wednesday.
After setting the minnows a stiff winning target of 172 runs, Pakistan never had any real problems as Afridi (4-19) and Gul (4-25) ran through the Scotland batting order to bundle them out for 120 with a ball to spare.
For Scotland, Fraser Watts provided the only resistance with a 36-ball knock of 46 before Mohammad Hafiz dismissed him.
Afridi, currently under the scanner back home for his role in the much-publicised Shoaib Akhtar-Mohammad Asif brawl, was adjudged the Man of the Match.
The Scots had a disastrous start, as Gul first came up with a two-wicket burst to reduce them to 38 for two and then Afridi dismissed Gavin Hamilton (2) and Neil McCallum (0) in the same over to compound the crisis.
Once Fraser was out, Scotland's hopes of a miracle went up in the smoke and it was a long procession of dejected batsmen back to the pavilion.
Earlier, Pakistan recovered from a slow start to post a competitive 171 for nine.
Put into the bat, the Pakistanis lost two quick wickets and were slow to get off the blocks but made amends in the last eight overs to leave Scotland with a stiff asking rate of 8.60 runs per over.
Seasoned middle order batsman Younis Khan was the top scorer for Pakistan with a 29-ball 41 while Misbah-ul Haq (23 off 16) and Afridi (22 off 7) were the other notable performers.
Kamran Akmal (16) and Yasir Arafat (17) provided the late burst with some lusty hittings which left the Scots in a daze.
Pakistan, who are clubbed in Group D along with arch-rivals India, appeared a trifle rusty in the initial stages of the contest which saw both the openers Imran Nazir [Images] (4) and Salman Butt [Images] (13) return to the pavilion cheaply.
Younis and Hafeez consolidated the position for the team before the late order assault ensured that Pakistan had enough runs on the board.
Craig Wright was the pick of the bowlers for Scotland with three for 29 while John Blain (2/23) and Dewald Nel (2/25) were the other top performers.