Hafeez shows his skills as Pakistan cruise
Pakistan 273 for 8 (Hafeez 61, Inzamam 59, Akmal 56*) beat Canada 196 (Ali 37, Hafeez 3-10, Rao 3-23) by 77 runs
A fine all-round display from Mohammad Hafeez ensured Pakistan avoided any slip-ups as they eased to a 77-run warm-up win over Canada in Trinidad. Inzamam-ul-Haq and Hafeez posted smooth half-centuries to push Pakistan to 273 for 8 before Hafeez and Rao Iftikhar shared six wickets as Canada were dismissed for 196 in the 47th over.
The Pakistanis suffered three injury setbacks in the lead-up to the tournament, with Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif ruled out of the event, but they coped without the trio in a game reduced to 48 overs due to a collapsed sightscreen. A break of more than an hour was needed to fix the problem during Pakistan's innings.
Hafeez was the top scorer with 61 while Inzamam stroked an impressive 59 to give Pakistan's batting a boost after they slipped to 66 for 4. Anderson Cummins, the former West Indies bowler, struck first with the wicket of Younis Khan, who was pushed up to open on an Inzamam hunch, while Henry Osinde (2 for 41) captured Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik.
The 93-run partnership between Inzamam, who faced 64 balls and hit 11 fours, and Hafeez guided them to safety and Kamran Akmal provided the late-innings push with a 37-ball 56. He blasted four sixes as Pakistan set Canada a challenging total.
Pakistan, who open the World Cup against West Indies on Tuesday, then made sure Canada could not build on a promising start set up by the openers Geoff Barnett and Abdool Samad. The pair reached 60 before the side fell to 91 for 5 with the loss of the captain John Davison, who was one of Rao's three victims.
Qaiser Ali and Ashif Mulla both posted 30s but Hafeez entered to finish off the innings with 3 for 10 in 3.4 overs. "Our batsmen and bowlers had good workouts in this game," Pakistan's coach Bob Woolmer told AFP. "We did a little bit of experimenting by sending Younis Khan up front, which allowed some other players to feature."