Zimbabwe give Afridi and Anwar chance to make up

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The Independent Online

The Pakistan top-order humbled by Sri Lanka on Saturday responded in fine style yesterday, beating Zimbabwe by 106 runs.

Waqar Younis' side were reduced to 65 for 5 in their opening game of the Khaleej Times Trophy in Sharjah and slipped to a seven-wicket defeat. But they wasted little time in atoning for the aberration, with Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar, two of the world's most destructive one-day batsmen scoring 67 and 64 respectively. putting on 91 for the second wicket.

Zimbabwe, set 280 to win, were all out for 173 in 39.1 overs. Only Andy Flowers (51) and Stuart Carlisle (43) showed any resolve, putting on 79, but Zimbabwe then lost six wickets in the space of 10 overs to lose their second game of the tournament.

The Australia fast bowler Brett Lee showed he was close to his best form and fitness yesterday with a five-wicket haul for New South Wales against South Australia. Lee, 24, who struggled on the recent Ashes tour of England, returned to Australia with a side strain injury ahead of next month's three-Test series against New Zealand.

He took 5 for 56 from 15 overs in New South Wales's 290-run victory against South Australia. South Australia, chasing 483 to win, were all out for 192.

Australia's other two likely new-ball bowlers against New Zealand, Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath, were also in good form. Gillespie took 10 for 162 for South Australia while in the first innings McGrath took 3 for 25 for New South Wales.

Australia will begin their defence of the 2003 World Cup against Pakistan on 11 February in Johannesburg in a repeat of the 1999 final. The hosts South Africa open the tournament two days earlier with a day-night match against West Indies in Cape Town.