UAE crushed

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The Independent Online
PAKISTAN cruised to victory over the United Arab Emirates as they opened their defence of the World Cup with a nine-wicket win in a shortened Group B match in Gujranwala.

Pakistan had made a belated entry into the tournament because of Ramadan, the Moslem holy month of fasting which ended on Tuesday. After heavy overnight rain had reduced the game from 50 to 33 overs, UAE managed only 109 for nine. The leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, named man of the match, took three for 16 from his seven overs.

Pakistan lost an early wicket when Aamer Sohail was bowled for five, but Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed made light of inaccurate bowling to ease Pakistan to victory, bringing up their 100 partnership after 17.3 overs.

UAE made a deceptively good start after being asked to bat by Wasim Akram, scoring 27 in seven overs, with the opener Saleem Raza hitting 22 from 20 deliveries including a massive six off Wasim over midwicket.

Only a flamboyant unbeaten 21 from Shaukat Dukanwala allowed UAE to creep over the 100 mark. Dukanwala hit a huge six off Waqar Younis, but otherwise the paceman's bowling was one of the most encouraging aspects of the day's play for Pakistan.

l The Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott will play no further part in the World Cup after suffering a torn calf muscle in his side's opening match against Kenya. Australia plan to call for a replacement, but are still seeking confirmation that they must nominate a player who was in their provisional 18-man squad.