Wills World Cup, Group B

PAKISTAN v ENGLAND

At Karachi, March 3. Pakistan won by seven wickets. Toss: England.

This was England's third successive defeat in the tournament against Test opponents; only victories over the two Associates guaranteed them a quarter-final place. Briefly, it did look as if their luck had changed. Atherton batted on a flat pitch (already used by Pakistan against South Africa) and finally rediscovered his form. Together with his third opening partner, Robin Smith, now recovered from a groin strain, he ran up 147 in 28 overs, England's best for any wicket against Pakistan in limited-overs internationals. But once Smith lofted a catch to long-off, they went into decline: Hick and Atherton followed in the next three overs and no one offered real support to Thorpe. Pakistan's strike bowlers, expensive under the opening assault, returned with a vengeance after Aamir Sohail and Salim Malik had broken through; Mushtaq Ahmed claimed three in successive overs. The final target was a round 250. Openers Sohail and Saeed Anwar were soon up with the rate, raising 81 in 16 overs, but all the home batsmen made healthy contributions. Most warmly received was 38-year-old Javed Miandad, opening his account in his sixth World Cup; earlier, he had led the team out in what was expected to be his last big game before his own Karachi crowd.

Man of the Match: Aamir Sohail.

© John Wisden & Co