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New Zealand v Pakistan, Group B
Sa'adi Thawfeeq - 28 May 1999

Inzamam (73 n.o.) helps Pakistan to get 269/8

DERBY, Friday - Pakistan, whom many are tipping to win the World Cup, gave yet another striking display of their all-round batting power when they set New Zealand a challenging target of 270 to score in their Group 'B' match played at county grounds here today.

In cold, overcast and blustery conditions, which was much akin to Christchurch, Pakistan batted extremely well to post a challenging total of 269 for 8 off 50 overs to New Zealand after they had been inserted in by Stephen Fleming.

Although the conditions were very much in favour of New Zealand, what Fleming wouldn't have reckoned was the pitch, which was dry and hard and favourable for batting. Left-armer Geoff Allott achieved early movement to trouble all the batsmen initially, but had his final figures spoilt by Inzamam-ul-Haq who took him to task in the slog overs. Allott picked up four wickets off 10 overs, but it cost him 64 runs.

Pakistan's batting hero was Inzamam, who as in the previous game against Australia, when he made a top score of 81, plundered runs at will to score an undefeated 73 off 61 balls. He completed his half-century off 52 balls with four fours.

With Inzamam leading the final onslaught, Pakistan hit 82 runs off the final ten overs.

Pakistan openers Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi set a scorching pace when they took, 23 runs off the first two overs, before Allott checked the run glut by having the big hitting Afridi edging a catch behind the wicket for 17. Anwar followed immediately when he left his leg stump exposed to Allott to be bowled for 28.

Abdur Razzak and Ijaz Ahmed added 76 off 19 overs for the third wicket before both were run out by direct throws. Astle threw down Razzak from short mid wicket for 33, and Harris repeated the scenario eight overs later to send back Ijaz for a well compiled 51 off 68 balls (one four).

New Zealand partially crawled back by dismissing Salim Malik (8) and Wasim Akram (1) cheaply, but Moin Khan with 19 off 17 balls and Azhar Mehmood, (14 off 12) balls provided good support for Inzamam to prepare his final launch in the slog overs. Of the New Zealand bowlers, only Dion Nash and Gavin Larsen escaped punishment conceding 38 and 35 runs respectively off their ten overs.

A win for New Zealand will guarantee them a place in the Super Six with only Scotland to play. A defeat would mean they have an outside chance depending on the Australia-West Indies match on Sunday.

Source: The Daily News