Friday December 01, 2023

Pakistan, WI, USA march into Global Cup semis

By Our Correspondent
September 28, 2023

KARACHI: Pakistan, West Indies and United States of America (USA) confirmed their places for the semifinals of the inaugural MCW Over 40 Cricket Global Cup 2023 while Australia, Hong Kong and Canada remain in the hunt for a spot in the top four at the end of the penultimate round of league matches on Wednesday.

Hosts Pakistan extended its unbeaten run by whipping Hong Kong by 157 runs at National Bank Stadium, Australia came back in the reckoning by whacking United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 226 runs at NBP Sports Complex, West Indies consolidated its position by whipping Canada by 103 runs at Karachi Gymkhana while USA stayed afloat by demolishing Nepal by nine wickets at Moin Khan Academy.

Opener Junaid Khalil Nainitalwala and left-arm spinner Abdul Qadir starred in Pakistan’s emphatic 157-run victory over Hong Kong. Junaid (81 off 87 balls) was named Man of the Match as he added 133 for first wicket in 21 overs with Muhammad Ilyas (66 off 64 balls). Amjad Ali (68 off 59 balls) sustained the momentum while Waqas Ahmed (41 off 25 balls) provided a late flourish to take the total to an imposing 328 for eight in the allotted 45 overs.

Hong Kong succumbed to the scoreboard pressure, getting bowled out for 171 in 40.4 overs. They had no answer to the left-arm spin of Abdul Qadir, who returned the impressive figures of five for 17 off nine overs in which three were maidens. Opener Naveed Tariq Khwaja (45 off 61 balls) top scored for Hong Kong with Bodhisatya Guha (38 off 60 balls) and Khan Zar (32 off 36 balls) contributing their bit down the order.

Australia, fighting for survival after hiccups in their earlier matches, managed to put their acts together to thrash UAE by a colossal margin of 226 runs. Batting first, after winning the toss, they posted a healthy total of 288 for eight in the stipulated 45 overs as openers Martin Raadschelders (33 off 37 balls) and Craig Mackay (26 off 31 balls) provided a solid start. Useful contributions from Luke Johnson (36 off 29 balls) and Justin Poole (43 off 36 balls) kept the scoreboard ticking and the timely little cameo by Mark Leard (39 off 31 balls) helped their cause immensely.

UAE lost wickets upfront and couldn’t recover to build any kind of partnership. None of their top eight batsmen reached double figures and the whole team was bundled out for a paltry 62 in 18.4 overs. Off-spinner Tim MacDonald (5-36), who shared the new ball with Chris Dickson (2-18) caused the main damage to ensure a huge win for the Aussies.

Lawrence Farnum’s century and Beesham Seepersaud’s four-wicket haul earned an emphatic 103-run victory for West Indies against Canada. Electing to bat first, West Indies rattled a mammoth total of 311 for seven in 45 overs with Farnum (101 off 93 balls), Randy Thomas (55 off 58 balls), Dary Balgobin (46 off 33 balls) and skipper Narsingh Deonarine (33 off 21 balls) scoring substantially.