Monday, Feb 17, 2003
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It was a demolition job by the bowlers, with Wasim Akram leading the way in his 34th World Cup appearance, the most by any player.
He celebrated the occasion by taking five for 28 in nine overs, and that included his 50th in World Cup cricket when he dismissed Namibian wicketkeeper Melt van Schoor.
It was Akram's best ever performance in World Cup cricket, surpassing his previous four for 14.
``At my age, a game is a game, and all I care about is that I get wickets and that our team wins,'' he said.
Akram, who has 498 one-day international wickets, said he was looking forward to the England match on Saturday, February 22: ``It would be nice to get the two England openers in my first over,'' he said.
He was well supported by Shoaib Akhtar, whose sheer pace unnerved the Namibians. He took four for 46 in nine overs, and that spell included a ball clocked at 159.1 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph).
``Being the fastest is no longer that important to me,'' Akhtar said. ``Being fast doesn't make you good. I want to take wickets.''
Pakistani captain Waqar Younis was disappointed he didn't get a bowl, but he was happy with the win. ``All our bowlers who didn't bowl are in the nets,'' he said.
The best batsman for Namibia was number 10 Bjorn Kotze, who was undefeated on 24.
``It was good experience for us,'' said his brother, Namibian captain Deon Kotze. ``I'm glad some guys spent some time at the crease, because it proves that we can get stuck in.''
Kotze admitted the players in the dressing room felt a bit shell-shocked as the wickets tumbled. But he said it was important that teams such as his were given the opportunity at the World Cup.
``Cricket cannot grow globally if countries like us aren't allowed to play and grow into the game,'' he said.
Earlier, Namibia restricted Pakistan to 255 for nine wickets.
It was a tight bowling and fielding performance by one of the minnows of the tournament, but it was also an inexplicably lacklustre performance with the bat as they never seemed to be able to get hold of an attack which was never more than workmanlike.
Top scorer for the Pakistanis was Salim Elahi. The compact opener grafted hard for his 63, hitting only five boundaries in an innings which lasted two hours and 19 minutes.
He was given a life, however, when he was dropped on 38 by Gavin Murgatroyd.
Pakistan captain Waqar Younis won the toss and elected to bat on a hot day with a gentle northwesterly wind. A batting wicket tempted Waqar to go for a big score against the Namibian attack which looked likely to be overmatched.
However, the Namibians kept the ball in the right kind of channels, and the Pakistani batsmen always had to try and manufacture shots to push the run rate along.
Gerrie Snyman and Bjorn Kotze took two wickets apiece, conceding 51 and 52 runs apiece in their 10-over spells.
But it was captain Deon Kotze who set the example. Bowling gentle off-spinners, he took one for 32 in eight overs. His victim was the dangerous Inzamam-ul-Haq, clean bowled for just four.
There was a bright passage of play towards the end of the innings as the Pakistanis added 82 runs in the final 10 overs but lost five wickets in the process.
The returning Saeed Anwar batted carefully for his 23, showing no signs of the elbow injury which kept him out of Pakistan's opening match which it lost against Australia, and Yousuf Youhana tried hard to accelerate the run rate with 43 off 55 balls.
But it was Rashid Latif, promoted to six, who made a difference with 36 off 30 balls.
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