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The Electronic Telegraph New Zealand v Pakistan, Group B
Neil Hallam - 28 May 1999

The Pakistan bandwagon rolls over New Zealand

Pakistan (269-8) bt New Zealand (207-8) by 62 runs

Pakistan's progress is starting to seem as relentless as the cacophony created by the drums, bells, whistles and klaxons of their supporters.

They beat New Zealand with comfort at the County Ground to maintain a 100 per cent record in Group B and guarantee that they will carry a potentially crucial bonus of four points into the Super Sixes.

Even if they to lose to Bangladesh on Monday they cannot be overtaken at the top and will face Group A winners South Africa at Trent Bridge the following Saturday.

New Zealand will go through if the West Indies beat Australia on Sunday but will need to massage their run-rate against Scotland the following day if Australia win at Old Trafford.

Pakistan's 269 for eight was daunting for a New Zealand side short of runs from the upper order and the result was all but assured once Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim reduced them to 34 for three.

Nathan Astle and Matt Horne twitched at balls which left them off the pitch and after surviving a fierce chance to second slip off Shoaib, Craig McMillan's uncertain tenancy ended with a miscued cut which somehow ended up at mid-on.

Stephen Fleming gave the middle order substance with a diligent 69 before a mistimed pull made him Azhar Mahmood's third victim and only Chris Harris of the other batsmen offered any resistance as the required run-rate soared off the graph.

Pakistan had hurtled off the blocks after being put in, Shahid Afridi pulling Dion Nash over long-leg for the day's only six as the first over yielded a dozen runs and the second another 11.

Left-arm-seamer Geoff Allott tempted Afridi to carve outside off-stump and then bowled Saeed Anwar behind his legs but the third wicket built a new platform with 76 from 19 overs.

Abdur Razzag perished in pursuit of a single that was never there and Ijaz Ahmed fell backing up too far but Inzamam atoned in full with a typically muscular 73 off 61 balls, including seven fours.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk