December 12, 2002

Pakistan cruise into the final

Staff Reporter

Pakistan have thrashed England by 111 runs to make it to the final of the 2002 Blind World Cup.

In the morning, after Pakistan won the toss, wicketkeeper Tariq Samuel made 76, Ashraf Bhatti 83 and Amir Ishfaq 87 as their team made 393-8. For England, Timothy Guttridge was the most successful bowler, claiming 2-68 off eight overs.

When England replied, they got off to the worst possible start losing one their openers Heindrich Swanepoel with no score on the board. With the other opener and their most prolific batsman Nathan Foy also failing to make an impact, making just 40, they were going to struggle from there on.

Guttridge made a determined effort, thrashing 104 off just 64 balls, before the enormity of the task at hand led to his fall. Adam Benjamin, the England skipper, hung around for a while making 43 off 49, but by then Pakistan were well on top.

The men from the sub-continent, then, managed to seal the emphatic win and ensured that they went into the final high on confidence. The match which will be played at Chennai's MA Chidamabaram stadium on December 14 pits them against defending champions South Africa in a reprise of the final of the inaugural edition of the World Cup.