Wednesday, March 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Rain dashes Pak’s slender hopes

Bulawayo, March 4
Pakistan were today knocked out of the World Cup, its slender hopes of making it to the Super Six dashed by rain that led to the abandonment of its match with Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe made it to the Super Six stage in Group A after getting two points for the abandoned match. In the same group, Australia and India have already qualified for the top six.

Pakistan’s miserable run in the tournament thus came to an end although they came here with a strong bowling attack that had put them among the top three favourites. South Africa, the other favourite besides holders Australia, also crashed out of the World Cup yesterday.

The result also meant an ouster for England whose progress to the next stage hinged on a Pakistani victory today. Zimbabwe, who benefited from England’s decision to forfeit points to them, finished their league engagements with 14 points, two more than England, while Pakistan could muster only 10 points from six matches.

Just 14 overs of play was possible in today’s match which Pakistan needed to win by a huge margin to ensure their progress to the next round on a better run-rate than England.

Pakistan, who elected to bat after winning the toss, were 73 for three when the third rain interruption sealed the chances of any further play in the match.

The start of the match was delayed by 75 minutes and subsequent rain interruptions had curtailed the game to a 38-overs-a-side affair. But with no signs of weather clearing up, umpires Billy Bowden of New Zealand and Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka were forced to announce the abandonment.

The result also meant that the two lesser-fancied co-hosts, Zimbabwe and Kenya, reached the Super Six while title contenders South Africa, who are hosting most of the matches, were thrown out of the tournament in the first round itself.

Pakistan, who suffered a humiliating defeat to India besides being thrashed by both Australia and England in the league matches, surprisingly left out their big-hitters Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq and Taufeeq Umar for today’s match in which they were required to improve their run-rate drastically.

Saleem Elahi opened the batting with Saeed Anwar but could manage only four runs before being trapped leg before wicket by Douglas Hondo. Saeed Anwar, who struck a century against India, was unbeaten on 40 when play was abandoned.

“We are elated and to get to the Super Sixes is special,” Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak said. “It was a crunch game and we always knew we would have a chance.”

Pakistan finished fifth in the group to be eliminated in the first round of a World Cup for the first time since 1975.

“We don’t really deserve to be there,” Pakistan captain Waqar Younis said. “Good luck to Zimbabwe.”

Pakistan were in trouble as early as the ninth ball of the match when Saleem Elahi was trapped in front for four by medium pacer Douglas Hondo.

Rain forced the players from the field before incoming batsman Yousuf Youhana was able to take strike, and in the eighth over after the resumption he drove at a delivery from fast bowler Streak and was caught by wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu for 17.



Anwar not out 40

Elahi lbw b Hondo 4

Youhana c Taibu b Streak 17

Haq c Whittall b Ervine 3

Khan not out 0

Extras: (b-1, lb-6, w-2) 9

Total: (3 wkts, 14 overs) 73

Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-55, 3-72

Bowling: Streak 7-1-25-1, Hondo 4-0-22-1, Ervine 3-0-19-1. PTI

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