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Nazir dominates Pakistan victory stroll
Richard Sydenham | March 22, 2007 00:34 IST
Last Updated: March 22, 2007 04:51 IST
Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 93 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method following a rain interruption to end their World Cup campaign on a winning note on Wednesday.
The result provided a fitting end to the glittering career of captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who retired from one-day internationals after the match.
Two defeats before this had ensured the 1992 champions' early elimination.
Pakistan lost the toss and scored 349 in their 50 overs. Zimbabwe replied with 99 all out after being handed a revised target of 193 in just 20 overs following a 150-minute rain delay.
The result means that Zimbabwe are also eliminated from the tournament after Pakistan crashed out on Saturday.
Hosts West Indies and debutants Ireland meet on Friday. Both progress to the Super Eights stage.
Earlier, Imran Nazir cracked a sparkling 160 as Pakistan posted their highest World Cup total.
Nazir dominated an emotion-filled morning, which included a one-minute's silence following the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer on Sunday and then a guard of honour send-off for departing skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq. .
Pakistan were playing for pride having already been eliminated following defeats to West Indies and Ireland.
Nazir's career-best, made off 121 deliveries, included 14 boundaries and a joint World Cup record eight sixes. Only Australia captain Ricky Ponting has scored as many at a World Cup, in the 2003 final.
Nazir was the mainstay of Pakistan's innings by a long way as the next highest scorer was Inzamam with 37, his final innings in a one-day international and as captain. Inzamam left the field in tears.
Zimbabwe, though, required a win to maintain hopes of a Super Eights place. That looked to be unlikely as they required about seven runs an over.
Nazir was fortunate to survive when he was on 31 after Gary Brent trapped him on the crease and television replays suggested he should have been lbw.
He also skied Brent to deep backward square leg when on 81 but Friday Kasteni dropped a straightforward catch and Nazir picked up a single. But he deserved his luck with some exhilarating stroke play.
When past three figures, Nazir crashed left-arm spinner Sean Williams for six over midwicket and then showed enough composure to dab the next ball to the vacant third man boundary for four.
Nazir's previous highest score was 105 not out, his only other one-day century, also made against Zimbabwe. Pakistan's total was also the eighth-highest in a World Cup match.
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