Thursday November 30, 2023

Pakistan overpower West Indies in Global Cup

By Our Correspondent
September 25, 2023

KARACHI: Pakistan, Australia, Canada and United States of America (USA) overcame their respective opponents in the fourth round of the inaugural MCW Over 40 Cricket Global Cup 2023 here on Sunday.

Pakistan overpowered West Indies by six wickets at National Bank Stadium, Australia whipped Hong Kong by six wickets at NBP Sports Complex, Canada trounced Nepal by 84 runs at Southend Club and USA defeated United Arab Emirates (UAE) by six wickets at Moin Khan Academy.

With four successive victories, Pakistan head the table with eight points at the end of the round four while Canada, USA and Hong Kong are next on the list with five points each. West Indies and Australia currently occupy fifth and sixth places, respectively, with UAE and Nepal sharing the last two slots. Each team will be playing three more league matches before the knockout phase.

A 123-run second wicket partnership between Man of the Match Rizwan Aslam and opener Amjad Ali put Pakistan in the driving seat when set a target of 202 in 45 overs by West Indies. Amjad showed more aggression, hitting one six and seven fours in his 64-ball 69 while Rizwan anchored the innings with a solid 82 off 112 balls with the help of two boundaries. Tariq Haroon and Afzal Shah finished the job as the winning runs came in the 41st over.

West Indies, batting first, lost both the openers cheaply with both speedsters Muhammad Sami and Imran Ali, who shared new ball, striking early. Skipper Narsingh Deonarine repaired the damage before being run out when just one run short of yet another half-century.

Left-arm spinner Abdul Qadir (3-47) chipped in with crucial wickets to prevent the West Indians from amassing a huge total. Dary Balgobin (45 off 51 balls) and Lawrence Farnum (37 off 42 balls) were dismissed just when threatening to cut loose. The home side did a fine job by restricting them to 201 for eight in the allotted 45 overs.

Steve Paulsen’s unbeaten 93 off 91 balls and medium-pacer Michael Durbridge (4-30) powered Australia to an emphatic six-wicket win over Hong Kong. Choosing to bat first, Hong Kong scored 192 for eight in the stipulated 45 overs with only two of their batsmen making significant contributions. Opener John Patrick Roy retired after scoring 70 off 116 balls while Najeeb Amar made 44 off 41 runs down the order.

Chasing a target of 193, Australia lost opener Craig McKay for a seven-ball duck but Paulsen, who came to bat at number three, scored fluently from the outset to keep his team ahead of the clock. He received support from Tim Bott (28 off 29 balls) and Luke Jackson (25 off 25 balls) and they romped home with as many as 14 overs to spare.

Canada posted a formidable total of 267 for seven in 45 overs against Nepal. Aftab Qaisar (84 off 104 balls) held the innings together while the late flourish was provided by Muhammad Riaz (48 off 42 balls) and Ayaz Ali (34 off 21 balls). Leg-spinner Uday Bahadur Thapa (2-29), medium-pacer Vikash Singh (2-32) and left-arm spinner Santosh Bhandari (2-55) were the successful bowlers for Nepal.

Openers Ram Naresh Yadav (48 off 67 balls) and Rabin Joshi (46 off 58 balls) scored 103 in 21 overs but they lost the plot against the spin trio of Badar-e-Munir Atique (4-36), Ali Farooq (2-18) and Tyron Atmaram Persaud (2-22) to be bowled out for 183 in 44.5 overs.

USA overcame a spirited UAE comeback to blast them by six wickets. Put into bat, UAE looked down and out after being reduced to 110 for eight but Rehan Khan, coming in at number 10, smashed four sixes and six fours in his 58-ball 67 to take the total to a fighting 217 for nine in 45 overs. Left-arm spinner Ajay Sharma (3-39) was the pick of the USA bowlers with medium-pacer Jan Nisar Khan (2-30), off-spinner Muhammad Farrukh (2-32) and leg-spinner Saqib Hameed (2-36) sustaining the pressure.

Openers Anwar Ahmed (27 off 21 balls) and Gurpreet Raina (18 off 22 balls) got USA off to a flying start and the 99-run partnership between Jan Nisar Khan (80 off 88 balls) and Muhammad Farrukh (46 off 60 balls) took them closer to victory which was completed with nearly 10 overs remaining.