Pakistan score morale-boosting win in tour match
by AFP

Ground:Manuka Oval, Canberra
Scorecard:Australia Prime Minister's XI v Pakistanis
Player:Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan
Event:Pakistan in Australia 2004/05

DateLine: 25th January 2005


Pakistan cruised to a morale-boosting five-wicket victory with more than seven overs to spare in their one-day tour match against a Prime Minister's XI at Canberra's Manuka Oval here.


Test regulars Yousuf Youhana and Younis Khan both made half centuries, with stand-in captain Youhana looking the more comfortable of the two before he was run out for 50 on Tuesday.


Man of the match Khan was also in fine touch, hitting five boundaries on his way to an unbeaten 62.


The win gave Pakistan a much-needed shot of confidence as they prepare for their next tri-series limited overs match against the West Indies in Adelaide on Sunday.


Pakistan, thrashed by nine wickets in their last outing against Australia in Sydney last Sunday, are battling with the West Indies for the right to play the host nation in the best-of-three finals series in the competition.


"This is a good start for winning against Australia," Youhana said.


"It was good for me to make some runs, as well as Younis Khan.


"I think our bowling was very good, especially Azhar Mahmood and Shoaib Malik - everyone had a good performance in this match."


Mahmood finished with 2-23 from seven overs while Shoaib Malik, who has not bowled at international level since his action was deemed illegal last month, took 3-29 off 10 overs.


For the Prime Minister's XI, Western Australian Luke Ronchi, who is rapidly making a name for himself at state level as a big-hitter, got the home team off to a blazing start with an incredible 40 runs off 13 balls.


After being sent in to bat, Ronchi, 23, turned on an awesome display of power hitting, belting two sixes and six fours to leave the home side at 51 for 0 at the end of the fourth over.


"It was a good start - he played very well but after he was gone, I think we took hold of the match," Youhana said.


The Prime Minister's XI captain Michael Bevan agreed, saying the home side probably left themselves about 30 runs shy of a competitive total.


"I think the wicket flattened out pretty nicely and they got the best of the batting conditions," he said.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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