Misbah, Younis take Pakistan to a challenging total

By Omar Khalid, IANS
Saturday, February 26, 2011

COLOMBO - Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan hit intelligent fifties to propel Pakistan to 277 in their big World Cup Pool A game against co-hosts Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium here Saturday.

Misbah, Pakistan vice-captain, struck an unbeaten 83 - his second consecutive fifty in the tournament - while Younis followed his 50 against Kenya in Hambantota with a 76-ball 72.

The senior duo put on 108 off 123 balls for the fourth wicket to give Pakistan a respectable total to defend.

Pakistan was placed at 105-3 when Misbah joined Younis and together they made good use of the middle overs.

The Pakistanis, however, failed to make the most of the last ten overs including the batting power-play as they were tied down by veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Nuwan Kulasekera. Murali, playing his last World Cup, finished with impressive figures of 1-35 in his ten overs.

He gave away just five runs in his last two overs during batting powerplay. Fast bowler Kulasekera, too, was impressive as he bowled several dot balls during the death overs.

Kamran Akmal scored 39 off 48 balls while opener Mohammad Hafeez chipped in with a 31-ball 32. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who replaced Ajantha Mendis, picked up 2-46 while Thisara Perera finished with 2-62.

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