Pakistan lift Sharjah Cup
SHARJAH: Pakistan’s revamped cricket team under captain Rashid Latif won the four-nation Sharjah Cup with a eight-wicket demolition of Zimbabwe in the final here on Thursday.
The 2,000th one-day international in cricket’s history produced a lacklustre contest as Pakistan skittled Zimbabwe for 168 and then romped home easily in the 36th over. Left-handed opener Taufiq Umer hit an unbeaten 81 and Yousuf Youhana contributed 61 not out during a match-winning stand of 144 for the unbroken third wicket.
Pakistan’s 14th title at this off-shore desert venue came without eight senior stars, including Wasim Akram and captain Waqar Younis, who were sacked following the first round exit at last month’s World Cup.
The new-look team under Latif and coach Javed Miandad made a promising start by winning all their three league matches against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kenya before brushing aside Zimbabwe in a one-sided final. A capacity crowd of 20,000 at the Sharjah cricket stadium saw Zimbabwe crumble in the first session after captain Heath Streak won the toss and elected to bat.
Young wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu was the lone batsman to defy the Pakistani bowlers, making an unbeaten 74 as seven others failed to reach double figures. Zimbabwe were struggling at 133-9 before last man Douglas Hondo (nine) helped Taibu add 35 runs. —AFP