Pakistan and UAE, the two lowest ranked teams of pool B, faced each other in match 25 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. A brilliant batting display by Ahmed Shehzad (93), Haris Sohail (70) and Misbah-ul-Haq (65) helped Pakistan post a massive 339/6. In reply, UAE could only manage 210/8 in 50 overs and hence lost the match by 129 runs. This is Pakistan’s second straight win and a much needed one as they play the mighty South Africans next.
Jamshed falls early, Ahmed Shehzad and Haris Sohail build strong partnership
UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first. Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad walked into the middle to kickstart the proceedings. Manjula Guruge struck early for UAE as he got rid of Jamshed (4) in the 4th over. A mistimed pull-shot by the left hander landed safely in Khurram Khan’s hands at mid on.
Haris Sohail joined Ahmed Shehzad and the duo helped Pakistan recover from the early blow. They added 160 runs for the second wicket and set a wonderful platform for the middle-order batsmen. Sohail and Shehzad displayed an exhibition of shots on all sides of the wicket during the partnership. Mohammad Naveed finally got the breakthrough for UAE as he dismissed Sohail for 70. Ahmed Shehzad followed him soon after as a risky second run cost him his wicket. His flamboyant innings of 93 came to an end but Pakistan were comfortably placed at 176/3, with big guns like Misbah and Afridi still to come.
Middle order batsmen power Australia past 300
The Pakistani middle-order batsmen Sohaib Maqsood (45 off 31) and Misbah-ul-Haq (65 off 49) chipped in with important cameos. They made sure that the scoring rate did not drop after the departure of Ahmed Shehzad and Haris Sohail. Shahid Afridi (21* off 7) then struck a couple of big hits to take Pakistan to 339/6.
Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan wreck UAE top-order
Chasing a monumental score of 340, a good start was necessary for the UAE batsmen. However, this could not happen as the Pakistani strike bowlers Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali cleaned up the UAE top order. Amjad Ali (14) was clean bowled by Rahat Ali while both Andri Berenger (2) and Krishnachandra Karate (0) ended up giving simple catches to the wicketkeeper off Sohail Khan’s bowling.
Middle order batsmen get runs, fail to show intent
When UAE were stuttering at 25/3 after the mandatory powerplay, Khurram Khan and in-form batsman Shaiman Anwar began to repair the damage. Shahid Afridi and Wahab Riaz were introduced into the attack and scoring runs became even more difficult. Yet the UAE batsmen weathered the challenge and managed to add 83 runs for the 4th wicket. In the 29th over, part-timer Shoaib Maqsood finally got the breakthrough by dismissing Khurram Khan (43).
Wicketkeeper-batsman Swapnil Patil joined Anwar in the middle when the required run rate had already escalated to over 11. The latter went on to score his half century and continued his good form. Swapnil Patil on the other hand was seeing off the good balls and the target gradually got out of hand. Anwar was dismissed for 62 after his mistimed lofted shot off Shahid Afridi went straight into Nasir Jamshed’s hands at long-off.
Amjad Javed provided some entertainment towards the end as he scored a brisk 40 off 33 balls and blasted 21 runs off Sohail Khan’s over. Wahab Riaz struck twice in the last over and got the wickets of Patil and Javed. UAE ended their innings at 210/8. Ahmed Shehzad was adjudged the player of the match.
Pakistan 339/6 (Ahmed Shehzad 93, Haris Sohail 70, Misbah-ul-Haq 65, Manjula Guruge 4-56) beat UAE 210/8 (Shaiman Anwar 62, Khurram Khan 43, Amjad Javed 40, Shahod Afridi 2-35) by 129 runs.