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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ONE OUT OF FOUR: Hong Kong's left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed is elated after trapping Pakistan batsman Misbahul Haq leg-before during their Asia Cup encounter at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi yesterday.Photo: AFP
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Left-handers Sohail Tanveer and Fawad Alam batted Pakistan out of trouble with fighting half-centuries as the home team made 288-9 against Hong Kong in the Asia Cup here on Tuesday.

Tanveer hit a 55-ball 59 while Alam notched 63 not out during their 100-run eighth-wicket stand to lift Pakistan from 161-7 after left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed grabbed four wickets in the Group B match played at the National Stadium.

Younus Khan (67) and captain Shoaib Malik (35) had put Pakistan in a strong position before Nadeem chipped in with four wickets off 21 balls in the space of 40 runs.

Nadeem, who finished with 4-51, was surprisingly kept away from the attack early on, allowing Alam and Tanveer to do their worst. Tanveer hit six boundaries before holing out in the 47th over.

Alam hit three boundaries during his steady knock and created a new eighth-wicket record in the Asia Cup, beating 54 set by Indian batsman Ajay Jadeja and Ajit Agarkar at Dhaka eight years ago.

India, three-time winners of the Asia Cup, are the third team in the Group.

Titleholders Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates are placed in Group A, based in Lahore.

The top two teams from each Group will qualify for the Super League where each team plays three matches to decide the July 6 finalists.

Pakistan, who beat India to lift the tri-series cup in Bangladesh ten days ago, got off to a disastrous start here when opener Salman Butt edged Afzaal Haider to wicket-keeper Jamie Atkinson off the third delivery of the match.

Malik, who opened the innings, added 67 runs for the second wicket with Younus before he cut straight into the hands of cover off paceman Irfan Ahmed.

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