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Pakistan hurry into Super Eights

Source: PTI
June 09, 2009 22:03 IST
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- Scorecard

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

Riding on Shahid Afridi's haul of four wickets for 11 runs and Saeed Ajmal's three for 20, Pakistan, who needed win the match by a margin of 25 runs to qualify, dismissed the Dutch for a paltry 93 in 17.3 overs.

Earlier, aware that only a big win would keep their Super Eight hopes alive, 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 Pakistan post a competitive 175 for five.

Needing 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 cut a sorry figure in the run chase.

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

It could have been a double blow for the Dutch had Salman Butt not dropped Alexei Kervezee (21) at fine leg off Aamer in the fourth over. The batsman had scored only seven runs then.

Kervezee and Bas Zuiderent (13) then played sensibly and added 29 runs for the second wicket before Afridi's golden arm did the trick, cleaning up Zuiderent with a fine yorker.

Young Ajmal then dealt the Netherlands a double blow in the ninth over, first having Peter Borren caught by Butt and then, a ball later, the important wicket of Kervezee, stumped by Akmal.

The Dutch were reeling at 49 for four after nine overs.

His bat might not have done much talking during Pakistan's innings, but Afridi caused havoc with his arm and cleaned up the Dutch batsmen all ends up.

The 29-year-old right-arm spinner dragged Pakistan a step closer towards the Super Eight stage when his yorkers disturbed Tom de Grooth and Daan van Bunge's timbers in a span of one ball.

Ryan ten Doeschate (14) soon joined his colleagues at the dug out, caught by Akmal off Malik, but not before hitting the off-spinner for a six.

Afridi added another wicket to his collection when Edgar Schiferli hit one straight to Ajmal at long off.

Ajmal rounded off his tally with the wicket of Dirk Nannes, stumped by Akmal and then Umar Gul sealed victory and a spot in the next stage for Pakistan, cleaning up Pieter Seelar.

Standing on the threshold of elimination after the huge loss to England in their tournament opener, Pakistani openers Akmal and Salman Butt (18) started cautiously against the Netherlands' Australia-born pacer Nannes but found going rather easy against other bowlers.

The openers had stitched together a 38-run stand before ten Doeschate removed Butt to draw first blood in the fifth over.

But with Akmal and Malik showing no signs of being perturbed, the Dutch bowlers were in for a difficult time.

Akmal pulled Borren for a six and then meted out the same treatment to ten Doeschate before Seelaar ended his 30-ball stay.

Malik could not make the most of the life he got at 14 and fell to Borren but Younis and Misbah ensured the momentum was not lost.

Younis hit ten Doeschate over mid-wicket for his first six and then went on to clobber Seelaar for back-to-back sixes before falling in the same over.

Afridi (13) looked in a hurry as he hit Nannes for a six and fell in the next delivery but Misbah ensured they reached the 175-mark.

Seelar was the pick of the Netherlands bowlers with figures of two for 36 from his four overs.

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