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West Indies suffer 10 wicket defeat against Pakistan

Pakistan cruised into the semi-finals of the World Cup with a thumping 10-wicket win over the West Indies in Mirpur today.

Pakistan needed just 20.5 overs to reach their paltry target of 113 as Mohammad Hafeez made 61 off 64 balls and Kamran Akmal 47 off 61.

Their spinners had done the damage earlier in the day, Shahid Afridi taking four wickets for 30 and Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal claiming two each as the Windies were dismissed for 112 inside 44 overs, their third lowest World Cup total ever.

Pakistan's last-four game against either India or Australia will be their sixth appearance in a World Cup semi-final, having previously reached this stage in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992 and 1999.

Batting first, the West Indies were in trouble from off as Pakistan's pace and spin posed immediate problems.

Umar Gul had Chris Gayle caught at mid-off for eight before off-spinner Hafeez trapped Devon Smith and Darren Bravo lbw in the space of four balls to leave the West Indies reeling on 16 for three.

The two-time champions recovered slowly, edging to 58 in 20 overs, with Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul putting on 42, but Afridi put an end to Sarwan's innings on 24.

Afridi effectively ended West Indies' hopes of a middle-order fightback in his next over with two in two deliveries, Kieron Pollard and Devon Thomas his victims.

Ajmal then joined in in the 28th over as he trapped Windies captain Darren Sammy lbw for just one and clean bowled Devendra Bishoo for nought.

Chanderpaul, who finished unbeaten on 44, shared a 40-run stand with Kemar Roach, who later fell to Abdul Razzaq for 16, before Afridi fittingly wrapped up the innings by bowling Ravi Rampaul for a duck.

Hafeez then took charge with the bat as he and Akmal hurried Pakistan to 43 in just five overs.

Both survived scares in the opening exchanges with Pollard unable to latch onto Akmal's fiery cut through point and wicketkeeper Thomas unable to take a diving catch from Hafeez's inside edge.

Hafeez, who has been left one short of his half-century against Zimbabwe in the group stage, achieved the target this time by hitting nine boundaries to cross before Akmal hit the winning runs.