Ruthless Pakistan Crush NZ

New Zealand’s miserable tournament continued when they were the sheep to the slaughter in the face of some ruthless Pakistani pace bowling. Put in on a damp wicket, New Zealand proved incapable of dealing with prodigious swing, as Pakistan exploited the pitch conditions perfectly. Anwar Ali was the cr?me de la cr?me of the three bowlers used by Sarfraz Ahmed, hauling in figures of five for 34, while Jamshed Ahmed finished with three for 14. New Zealand’s struggle lasted a paltry 24 overs, and they were left indebted to number Roneel Hira, whose unbeaten 28 rescued the Kiwis from the depths of 17 for six and 44 for eight, was one of only two batsmen to reach double figures. The gaping wounds were salted yet more when the Pakistani’s chased down a feeble target of 78 in just nine overs. Despite using Nasir Jamshed early on, Ali Khan (30*) and Mohammad Ibrahim (21), took advantage of a despondent New Zealand attack to rattle off the runs in rapid time.

Group A, Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo
New Zealand 77 all out (24) Anwar Ali 5-34, Jamshed Ahmed 3-14
Pakistan 78-2 (9)
Pakistan won by 8 wickets

Another strong performance from the in-form West Indian middle-order set up a decisive win against South Africa in Colombo. After a strong start the Proteas collapsed from 64 without loss to 148 for six, with the three-pronged Caribbean spin attack doing the majority of the damage. Pieter Daneel, who hit a fluent 90, was the mainstay of the innings, although the only support he received was from number eight Richard das Neves (32). Eventually the South Africans posted 213 for eight, an innings characterised by a distinct lack of boundaries, and a superb one-handed diving catch from Gajanand Singh to dismiss Richard Levi.

The West Indian response was marred by dismissals of William Perkins and Andre Fletcher whilst the innings was in its infancy, but a mammoth partnership of 148 for the third wicket between captain Leon Johnson and Jason Mohamed settled the tie. Johnson, dropped behind on 49, Mohamed took advantage of an audacious gamble from the South African captain, Dean Elgar, waiting for the delayed Power Play before exposing a fragile Springbok’s attack. The late dismissal of Johnson, for 83, only came to bring more gloom onto the broken bowlers, as Singh smashed an unbeaten 34, off just 25 balls, combining with Mohamed, who drove dominantly in his 76 not out, to seal a comfortable West Indian victory.

Group B, P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo
South Africa 213-8 (50) Pieter Daneel 90
West Indies 218-3 (43.1) Leon Johnson 83, Jason Mohamed 76*
West Indies won by 7 wickets

Favourites India continued their surge towards glory with the professional four-wicket of the indifferent hosts. Despite reducing India to 28 for three, Sri Lanka were left to rue dropped chances, before a well-paced partnership of 132 from 188 balls between Rohit Sharma and Mayank Tehlan. Sharma was dropped three times, Tehlan the once, but both took full advantage of the Sri Lankan fumbles to secure a four wicket victory. Tehlan, with 64 off 114 balls, played the anchor to a more stylish 78 from 105 from Sharma. Tissara Perera was the early dangerman, removing three of the much vaunted Indian top four. Earlier, several Sri Lankan batsmen chipped in with useful knocks, although the final total was a slightly under-par 207. Highly-rated leggie Piyush Chawla took two for 35 from his full quota of ten overs, strangling the Sri Lankan progress, while Vijaykumar Yomahesh ended with three wickets. Dimuth Karunaratne made the early initiative, with an enterprising 41, captain Angelo Mathews struck 52 and both Sachithra Serasinghe (38) and Hans Fernando (31) made valuable contributions, ultimately in a forlorn cause.

Group C, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sri Lanka 207 all out (48.3) Angelo Mathews 52; Vijaykumar Yomahesh 3-33
India 209-6 (47.4) Rohit Sharma 78, Mayank Tehlan 64; Tissara Perera 3-35
India won by 4 wickets

England’s as-yet unhappy campaign suffered a further setback with an inadequate two wicket loss to Zimbabwe, though praise must be afforded to the underdogs. Once again the England batsmen struggled, unable to manoeuvre the ball effectively on a slow low wicket. Opener Varun Chopra made 31 and Rory Hamilton-Brown, who has been the pick of the England batsmen so far, struck 47, but otherwise there was little resistance to a hard-working Zimbabwe attack and England compiled just 175. Sean Williams, a slow-left-armer, took three for 35, ably supported by leg-spinners Gary Balance (three for 21), Ryan Higgins (two for 33) and Graeme Cremer (none for 28). Zimbabwe’s run chase look already over when they slipped to 118 for seven, but Balance (47), Cremer (29) and Chamu Chibhabha (29) combined to book a quarter-final against Pakistan. As against Nepal, the England spinners exerted a considerable amount of control, with Nick James taking two for 25 and captain Moeen Ali two for 29, but they were left to rue their dismal batting performance. England do however still progress to the next stage, where they are faced with the tough task of a motivated Bangladeshi unit.

Group D, Colombo CC, Colombo
England 172 all out (49.5) Gary Balance 3-21, Sean Williams 3-35
Zimbabwe 175-8 (47.1)
Zimbabwe won by 2 wickets

Quarter Finals

Super League (Saturday 11 February)
Bangladesh v England, India v West Indies, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, Australia v Sri Lanka

Plate Championship (Tuesday 14 February)
New Zealand v Ireland, Namibia v USA, Nepal v Uganda, South Africa v Scotland

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