Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pakistan beat Netherlands to reach Super Eight

Pakistan booked their place in the Super Eight stage in style, thrashing the Netherlands by 82 runs in a must-win Group B match of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup at the Lord's in London on Tuesday.

Riding on Shahid Afridi's four for 11 and and Saeed Ajmal's three for 20, Pakistan, who needed a 25-run victory margin today, bowled out the Dutch for a paltry 93 in 17.3 overs.

Earlier, aware that only a big win will keep their Super Eight hopes alive, Pakistan skipper Younis Khan decided to bat first and cameos from Kamran Akmal (41), Shoaib Malik (30), Misbah-ul Haq (31 no out) and the captain himself (36 off 20) helped the side post a competitive 175 for five.

Chasing 151 to progress to the Super Eight stage and 176 for victory, the Netherlands batsmen were clueless against the spin duo of Afridi and Ajmal and lost wickets at regular intervals to cut a sorry figure in the run chase.

The Netherlands were dealt with an early blow when dangerous looking Darron Reekers (13 off 6) feel to Mohammad Aamer, caught by Sohail Tanvir at sqaure leg, but not before hitting the pacer for two consecutive fours.

It could have been double blow for the Dutch had Salman Butt not dropped Alexei Kervezee (21) at fine leg at the personal score of seven off Aamer in the fourth over.

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