Cricket: Fractured finger fails to halt Moin

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The Independent Online
THE PAKISTAN wicketkeeper-batsman Moin Khan, whose quick scoring has been a feature of his country's World Cup challenge, is set to continue playing through injury in their Super Six match against Zimbabwe at The Oval today.

Moin is among a trio of Pakistanis, completed by middle order batsmen Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who are suffering from damaged fingers but intend to take part in a game that both sides need to win to secure a semi-final place.

The Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, revealed that Moin had played through the tournament with a fractured finger and had been given four pain-killing injections before each match. Moin's telling contribution as a batsman has been enhanced by the speed at which he makes his runs. His tournament aggregate of 189 has come from 152 balls, with an unbeaten 31 from 12 deliveries against Australia and 63 in 56 balls against South Africa being his most vivid performances.

Ijaz has a small fracture in a finger and Inzamam split the index finger of his left hand while taking a slip catch in Tuesday's game against India at Old Trafford. The experienced pair will be needed to bolster a Pakistan top order which has looked vulnerable, particularly during consecutive defeats in their last three matches against Bangladesh, South Africa and India.

"Our batting is a concern for me, but we have faith in our players," Wasim said. "They have been doing well for us, not just in the last six months but in the last six or seven years, so if they have just two or three bad days it's not so bad."

Wasim is not unduly worried about his side's losing streak and feels they can still win the tournament. "I am very confident. I feel good about it," he said.