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Wasim celebrates record in style
February 16, 2003 22:09 IST
Pakistan all rounder Wasim Akram celebrated his record-breaking 34th World Cup appearance with a typically inspired performance to help his team to a crushing 171-run victory over Namibia on Sunday.
Wasim scored an unbeaten 20 off just 14 deliveries before ripping through Namibia's top order on the way to figures of five wickets for 28 runs as he and Shoaib Akhtar routed the inexperienced Africans.
While the result kept Pakistan in the hunt for a place in the Super Sixes, Sunday's match was a personal triumph for Wasim.
Not only did he pass Steve Waugh and Javed Miandad's record of 33 World Cup appearances, but he also took his career total of one-day international wickets to 498, well ahead of any other bowler in history.
"The guys all congratulated me for breaking the record but this was just like any other game for me," Wasim said.
"It's the World Cup. You can't just take it easier against the so-called weaker teams, you have to treat every game seriously.
"I'm very motivated and so is the team. We're here to do win the World Cup."
Shoaib and Wasim produced a devastating display of pace bowling to dismiss Namibia for just 84 runs, with Shoaib claiming four for 46.
One of his deliveries was timed at 159.1 km/h, just under 100 mph, making it one of the fastest balls ever bowled, but Shoaib said he was no longer obsessed with pure speed.
"I'm not after the speed at all, I'm here to get wickets," Shoaib said. "I've already crossed the 100 mph. Being the fastest bowler in the world is an honour to have under your belt but it doesn't make you a better bowler."
After losing their opening match to World Cup favourites Australia, Pakistan showed they remain one of the teams to beat with a ruthless demolition of Namibia, posting a total of 255 for nine before demolishing their opponents in 17.4 overs.
"I thought 255 was a pretty good total against them. Of course we had some hiccups in the middle, we didn't really bat the way we wanted but it was still good enough," Pakistan captain Waqar Younis said.
"It was a fairly relatively easy day for our bowlers but they (Namibia) fielded and bowled well," Waqar added. "Winning is winning no matter who it is so we're really happy."
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