Misbah, Umar give Pakistan victory

CRICKET-WC-2015-ENG-PAKMisbah ul Haq led from the front as Pakistan beat England in their final warm up match. Misbah scored an unbeaten (91) and was ably supported by Umar Akmal who chipped in with a quick fired (65) as Pakistan chased down the 251 target in 48.5 overs.

England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first on the Sydney pitch. Joe Root (85) and Gary Ballance (57) helped England to a total of 250 in the allotted 50 overs. Yasir Shah shined for Pakistan in the bowling department claiming three English scalps and finished with figures of 45-3 in 10 overs.

Pakistan’s chase got to a wobbly start with openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad both going in quick succession. It was left to the skipper to rescue Pakistan and he responded. The 133 run partnership between Misbah and Umar took Pakistan close to the victory target before Umar departed, but Misbah stayed till the end to wrap up victory.

`The victory will be a huge moral boost to Pakistan as they have now won both their warm up matches, setting things up nicely for the crunch match against arch rival India. However the team management must be worried about the continuing poor form of batsman Younis Khan who once again failed to make a sizeable contribution with the bat.

In other matches, Zimbabwe emerged as shock victors over Sri Lanka, racing to the 280 runs target in just 45.2 overs with 7 wickets to spare. New Zealand and South Africa clashed in Christchurch where New Zealand came out as the winners. Batting first New Zealand posted a total of 331, South Africa never looked liked chasing the target and lost wickets at regular intervals, they were all out for 197 giving New Zealand a 134 runs victory. In Melbourne hosts Australia posted a target of 305 runs, in reply UAE were all out for just 116, giving Australia a 188 run win.

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