Nazir blitz sets up easy first win for Pakistan


LAHORE: Pakistan team led by Shoaib Malik lived up to expectations as they overpowered arch-rivals India to win the opener of the Hong Kong Super Sixes event at the Kowloon Cricket Club on Saturday.
Pakistan swept to a 22-run victory over India to be well-placed in the preliminary round Sobers Group on the opening day of the US$150,000 tournament which saw more than three-quarters of the programme cancelled due to rain.
“It’s always good to start with a win,” a website quoted Malik as saying. “For a first game, it was a good performance from the guys and I’m pretty pleased.”
The poor weather resulted in a switch to four overs per innings from five as initially planned. All eight teams got a taste of the action on the first day with Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and South Africa joining Pakistan as winners.
Sri Lanka knocked off 77 runs needed for victory over New Zealand thanks to openers Jeewantha Kulatunga and Indika de Saram who
hit fluent knocks of 30 and 32 respectively to give the islanders a four-wicket win in the Sobers Group encounter.
In the Bradman Group, hosts Hong Kong hammered England in style. Chasing a modest total of 61, Hong Kong romped home to a five-wicket win with eight balls to spare. Last year’s player of the tournament Irfan Ahmed led the blitz with a sparkling unbeaten 34.
In the other game, South Africa chased down Australia’s 73-run total scrambling through for a single on the final ball of the match to earn the win. Play will resume at 8.10 am (local time) today with hosts Hong Kong taking on South Africa.