JOHANNESBURG (South Africa), February 4: Younis Khan stroked his second half century of the tour and Abdul Razzaq took three wickets in five balls as Pakistan defeated Gauteng Invitation XI by 24 runs in the lead-up match for the World Cup at Lenasia, South-Western area of Johannesburg.

Pakistan posted 264 for seven in 50 overs and when the home team was 123 for four in 30 overs, rain came down. The match was eventually called off at 5.00pm local time because of bad light and according to the Duckworth/Lewis method, Pakistan were declared winners.

Younis, who had hit an electrifying 94 off 65 balls in the tour opener, hit 50 off 52 balls that included a four and a six before a crowd of about 2,500 spectators, mostly schoolboys, after Pakistan were put into bat on another hot and humid morning.

Younis was eventually run-out after a mix-up with Abdul Razzaq.

When Gauteng batted, they slumped from 110 for one to 115 for four with Razzaq picking up three wickets conceding four runs. Razzaq was on a hat-trick when he bowled Grant Elliott (33) and Vaughn van Jarrsveld (0) off successive deliveries of his fourth over. But he bowled a no-ball to finish with figures of three for 25.

Stephen Cook (61) and Elliott added 103 off 144 deliveries for the second wicket after Wasim Akram picked up Marthinus Otto very early in the innings. Wasim could have picked another wicket but Azhar Mahmood dropped a straight forward catch at second slip. Azhar went on to drop another while Younis Khan dropped Elliott at first slip off Shoaib Akhtar who made a good comeback after conceding 12 runs from his opening over.

Shoaib, who conceded 21 from six overs, bowled with fire and venom though not all his deliveries were express fast. But he looked fit and seemed to have found the rhythm that has made him probably the most dangerous bowler in world cricket today.

Earlier, Shahid Afridi once again threw his wicket away while attempting a big shot and he was soon followed by Taufeeq Umar who chipped in with 23 off 33 balls with three fours.

However, Saleem Elahi and Yousuf Youhana repaired the damage when they added 61 for the third wicket off 78 balls. The partnership ended when Saleem tried one shot too many and was stumped off Clive Eksteen but not before he had hit a polished 43 off 62 balls. He hit seven boundaries and each boundary matched the other.

Yousuf Youhana quickly followed Saleem when he was declared leg before though the batsman was hit high on the pads. Yousuf scored 32 off 45 balls with three fours.

Azhar Mahmood joined Younis Khan and the two added 44 for the fifth wicket off 56 balls. The stand broke when Azhar was caught at the wicket after a 27-ball 18. He was soon joined in the dressing room by Younis when he ran down too far on his follow through and had no time to return to the non-striker's end after Abdul Razzaq's push went straight to Marthinus Otto at short extra-cover.

Razzaq was dismissed a run later when he was caught at extra-cover by Otto off Eksteen after a 29-ball 22 that was void of any big shots.

Nevertheless, allrounder Wasim Akram ensured that Pakistan reached a competitive score when he belted fours and a six in a rapid 32-ball 33. Waqar Younis gave him excellent support with a 23-ball 25 that included two fours. The two veterans added 63 runs off 57 balls for the unbroken eighth wicket, including 15 off the last over.

Pakistan added 65 off the last 10 overs, including 44 off the last 30 deliveries.

Pakistan, besides Rashid Latif, rested Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saqlain Mushtaq while Saeed Anwar was indisposed because of elbow joint injury he sustained during a net session at the Wanderers while facing Shoaib Akhtar. Medical reports say Saeed has no fracture but a bruised elbow and damaged tissues.

Team manager Shaharyar Khan said Saeed would miss Thursday's game against Easterns at Benoni but hoped he would be fit for the World Cup opener against Australia at Wanderers on February 11.

Samiul Hasan
Media Manager
Pakistan Cricket Team
February 4, 2003