Hafeez helps Pakistan stun Sri Lanka


JOHANNESBURG — Pakistan warmed up for the Twenty20 world championships with a five-wicket win over World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in a practice match here on Sunday.

Mohammad Hafeez led the way with an all round effort, claiming 2-18 in his four overs to restrict Sri Lanka to 162-7 before making 45 as Pakistan cruised home with seven balls to spare in Centurion.

At Benoni, Kenya carved out a thrilling last-ball win over Bangladesh, dismissing their rivals for 116 before overtaking the modest target for the loss of four wickets.

Sri Lanka, sent in to bat, failed to build on a solid start of 45 in five overs by openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga and lost wickets at regular intervals.

Jehan Mubarak was the top scorer with 42 off 33 balls before being run out by Umar Gul in the final over.

Pakistan made a flying start in reply as Hafeez and Salman Butt (51) hammered 94 for the first wicket by the 10th over.

The loss of four quick wickets reduced Pakistan to 149-5 in the 18th over but captain Shoaib Malik guided his team to victory with an unbeaten 34.

Pakistan, who sent pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar home last week after a bust-up with Mohammad Asif, had thrashed Zimbabwe by 54 runs on Saturday.

Pakistan are drawn with arch-rivals India and Scotland in group D of the preliminary league with the top two advancing to the Super Eights round.

Kenya recovered from their six-wicket defeat by the West Indies on Saturday to score a morale boosting win over Bangladesh in another practice match.

Seamer Nehemiah Ngoche claimed 3-37 in four overs as Bangladesh, sent in to bat on a seaming wicket, were shot out for 116 in the 17th over. Opener Tamim Iqbal was the only batsman to shine with 56.

Kenya spaced their innings with steady, but unspectacular batting and coasted home with one ball to spare in Shakib-Al Hasan’s final over.

Openers David Obuya and Collins Obuya put on 41 for the first wicket before captain Steve Tikolo and Tanmay Mishra set up the win with a half-century stand for the third wicket.

The world championships open on Tuesday with hosts South Africa battling the West Indies at the Wanderers here.