Cricket: Arthurton's fine return

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The Independent Online
THE WEST INDIES reached the semi-finals of the Wills International Cup with a convincing 30-run victory over the pre-tournament favourites, Pakistan, in Dhaka yesterday.

Pakistan, chasing the West Indies' total of 289 for 9, could only make 259 for 9 in reply from their 50 overs. The low total was largely down to some fine bowling from the West Indies' left-arm spinner Keith Arthurton, who returned career-best figures of 4 for 31 in front of a sell-out crowd of 40,000 at Bangladesh's National stadium.

The West Indies also had their opener, Philo Wallace, to thank. His scintillating 79 off 58 balls set his side well on their way after Brian Lara had won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions.

Pakistan simply found the target too much in the absence of their best batsmen, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who withdrew from the tournament because of injuries.

Pakistan's batting was sketchy, and it was hard to identify a partnership that might have swayed the match in their favour. The openers, Salim Elahi and Ijaz Ahmed, did boost their personal run totals, but their respective scores of 46 and 51 were to make no difference in the end.

Lara, without the services of the experienced pace bowlers, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, was instead grateful to Arthurton and his spin partners, Carl Hooper and Raul Lewis. The West Indies will now meet India tomorrow for a place in the final. The first semi-final, which takes place today, features the World Cup holders, Sri Lanka, against South Africa.

WILLS INTERNATIONAL CUP (Dhaka) Quarter-final (50 overs): West Indies 289 for 9 (P A Wallace 79; Wasim Akram 3-55); Pakistan 259 for 9 (Ijaz Ahmed 51; K L T Arthurton 4-31). West Indies win by 30 runs.

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