Cricket World Cup 2015: Pakistan cruise past UAE in Napier

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Napier
Pakistan's Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad
Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad added 160 in 29 overs for the second wicket
World Cup Pool B, Napier:
Pakistan 339-6 (50 overs): Shehzad 93, Haris 70, Guruge 4-56
UAE 210-8 (50 overs): Anwar 62, Khurram 43
Pakistan won by 129 runs
Scorecard. Tables

Pakistan kept up their push for a place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a routine 129-run victory over the United Arab Emirates in Napier.

Ahmed Shehzad hit 93 and both Haris Sohail (70) and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (65) weighed in with half-centuries as Pakistan ran up 339-6.

UAE were reduced to 25-3 early in their reply and though in-form Shaiman Anwar made 62, they fell well short on 210-8.

Pakistan join Ireland and West Indies on four points in a congested Pool B.

Ireland meet Pakistan on 15 March, the final day of the group stage, in a match that is looking increasingly likely to decide qualification for the last eight.

For Pakistan, a second win in four days represents a build of momentum after heavy defeats by India and West Indies in their opening two matches.

The 1992 champions will almost certainly earn a place in the next round if they win their final two games against South Africa and the Irish.

"That was a much needed win for us," said Misbah.

"We won by a margin so we can relax now, the next game is really important and we need to focus on that. We have a good net run rate now also."

Pakistan were rarely troubled in this comfortable win against a UAE side who did not disgrace themselves, particularly by sticking to their task with the ball on a good wicket with one very short square boundary.

In-form Anwar
Shaiman Anwar, with 270 runs from four innings, is the top run-scorer at this World Cup (ahead of Kumar Sangakkara on 268)
His tally is the second highest by an Associate player at any World Cup - Ryan ten Doeschate hit 307 in six innings for the Netherlands in 2011

Indeed, the Associate side will rue two missed opportunities off Shehzad, the opener put down on two and nine.

Reprieved, he compiled a 160-run stand with Haris, missing out on a century when his dive to complete a second run was not enough to prevent a run-out.

With Haris then caught at mid-on off Mohammad Naveed, Pakistan were in danger of wasting a good platform, but Misbah steadied with Sohaib Maqsood (45).

When the time came, they opened their shoulders, beginning a blitz that would see 124 runs added in the final 10 overs. In that time, Shahid Afridi's 21 from seven balls made him only the second man, after Sanath Jayasuriya, to score 8,000 runs and take 300 wickets in one-day internationals.

If they were to pull off an unlikely chase and a great World Cup shock, the UAE needed a solid start with the bat, but their top order could not handle the Pakistan pacemen.

Rahat Ali bowled Amjad Ali before Sohail Khan had both Andri Berenger and Krishna Karate caught behind to effectively end the contest.

Anwar and Khurram Khan shared a defiant partnership of 83 until Khurram flicked Maqsood to square leg for 43.

The match meandered to its inevitable conclusion, but for Anwar, an innings that ended when caught at long-off off Afridi took him to a total of 270 runs, the highest of the tournament so far.

UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir said of Anwar: "He's a brilliant batsman and I'm very happy for him. He's such a confident individual that we call him 'Sir Viv'.

"He missed out on a hundred, but if he'd stayed to the end of the innings he would have got it. It was an excellent performance."

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 World Cup coverage.

Pool B
2South Africa4310+1.956
3West Indies4220-0.314
Pakistan's Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi's late cameo made him the second man to reach 8,000 ODI runs and 300 wickets
UAE bowler Mohammad Naveed celebrates a wicket
Mohammad Naveed took 1-24 from his first eight overs, and 0-26 from his last two
Pakistan paceman Mohammad Irfan
Pakistan paceman Mohammad Irfan went off injured after only bowling three overs
UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar hits out
Shaiman Anwar's tournament total of 270 took him above previous leader Kumar Sangakkara (268)