<
>

Younis, Misbah guide Pakistan to victory

After a shuddery start Pakistan were able to reach the victory target of 180 in the 39th over for the loss of three wickets. Pakistan made a terrible start to their chase as they lost early wickets. But ever improving Younis Khan joined hands with Misbah-ul-Haq who was playing only his second game to guide Pakistan to victory.

They put on an unbroken partnership of 127 for the fourth wicket. Younis brought up the victory by hitting a four. Both batsmen ended up with their highest ODI scores Younis remained unbeaten on 87 (91 balls, 11 4s and 1 6) while Misbah made 50 not out (92 balls, 3 4s).

Pakistan also gained a bonus point in process by getting to the target in less than 40 overs and Younis Khan walked awy as the man of the Match.

Earlier Shoaib Malik and Saeed Anwar opened Saeed's poor run with the bat continued, caught behind off Martin Suji for two and Pakistan were 11 for 1 in the third over. Shahid Afridi replaced Saeed.

But next over Shoaib Malik was trapped leg before and Pakistan were reduced to 13-2. Younis Khan came in and hit the first four of the Pakistan innings when he played a lovely stright drive off Odoyo. He, along with Afridi started the consolidation work. Afridi tilted the balance into Pakistanis favour by scoring 20 runs of Odoyo's 4th over as he smashed two sixes and an equal amount of fours.

Just when it seemed Afridi was finding his groove he played his trademark reckless shot to be out caught on the third man boundary by Angara off Tony Suji. There was no need for such adventurism and Pakistan were in trouble at 54-3 in the 12th over. He had made 31 off 28 balls including two 6s and three 4s.

After 15 overs Pakistan had reached 64-3 with victory still looking far away.

Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo made effective bowling changes and tightened the screws with sprightly fielding. Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq started to rotate the strike. Younis who was settling down well spanked three consecutive 4s off Tony Suji to ease some pressure in the 24th over.

Pakistan's 100 was brought up in the 25th over and immediately after the 50 run partnership for the fourth wicket between Younis and Misbah was also completed off 77 balls. The partnership between Younis and Misbah was exactly what the doctor advised.

Younis reached his 50 off 63 balls in the 31st over including seven 4s. And Pakistan's 150 was brought up in the 35th over of the innings for the loss of three wickets. Younis played efficiently as he guided the Pakistani run chase well. Joseph Angara was the best Kenyan bowler as he took 1-21 in six overs.

Pakistan restrict Kenya to 179.
After electing to bat first under grey skies Kenyans were all out for a score of 179 in the 43rd over. Keeping in mind they are newbies it was a very good performance as they played well against one of the best bowling attacks in the world. The match was poised for an interesting run chase as the Pakistanis have a notorious reputation of being poor run chasers.

Both the teams made one change each - Pakistan brought in middle order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq replacing opener Imran Nazir while the Kenyans were forced to bring in Jimmy Kamande for injured Hitesh Modi who fractured his left index finger in the first game.

In a change of tactics, Pakistan opened the bowling with Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar. The decision proved fruitful straight away as Shoaib Akhtar nicknamed 'Rawalpindi Express' started off with a thundering maiden first over. Then with the first ball of his second over he cleaned up opener Ravindu Shah when he dragged one on. Captain Steve Tikolo replaced Shah but he too went back early as he edged one from Wasim to Rashid Latif who took a smart catch.

Kennedy Otieno now partnered newcomer Thomas Odoyo to repair the damage. Both of them put on 61 runs for the third wicket before Odoyo holed out to Shoaib Akhtar off the bowling of skipper Waqar Younis. He made 28 off 49 balls including five fours.

Next man in was experienced Maurice Odumbe but he couldn't last long, bowled after cover driving Afridi for a four.

Kennedy Otieno rode his luck as in one Shoiab over, on the first ball Misbah ran him out through a smart piece of work but leg umpire Aleem Dar didn't refer to the third umpire and the TV replays showed his bat was in the air. Three balls later he was clean bowled by a gem of a yorker from Shoaib only to find it was a no-ball, the very next ball, Saeed anwar floored a sitter at mid off.