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Yousuf, Razzaq save Pak from an upset against Scotland

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Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq steered Pakistan to a 5-wicket victory against Scotland in the Only ODI played at Edinburgh. Chasing a moderate target of 204 against the minnows, Pakistan were in an embarrassing position at 93 for 5 in the 26th over. It was the 112 run stand between Yousuf and Razzaq that had rescued Pak from what would have been a major upset. Pakistan had a bad start from their top order with Salman Butt getting out in the 4th over. Malik and Younis Khan got starts, but could not kick on from their 20s. Inzamam and Afridi were also taken cheaply by the homeside. However Scotland, which was playing only its 6th ODI, didn’t have enough fire power to bowl out the visitors and eventually the winning runs were scored in the 44th over. Mohammad Yousuf remained unbeaten on a 113 ball-83 and Razzaq was the dominant partner scoring a 48 ball-49 which also included three sixes. Thirty six-year-old debutant medium pacer for Scotland, Paul Hoffman bowled incredibly well for his 3 for 22 in 10 overs.

Earlier in the day, Inzamam had won the toss and he put the minnows to bat first hoping that it would be a short day on the field for his boys. But Scotland spoilt the plans by batting all the 50 overs to score a respectable 203 for 8. They got off to an extremely poor start losing 5 wickets in the first 8 overs with just 20 on the board. Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif did the damage and the Pakistanis were well on course of bundling out Scotland cheaply, but the pair of Ryan Watson and Neil McCallum had other plans. Skipper Ryan Watson had scored almost a run-a-ball 80 which had 12 fours and a six and Neil MacCullum had scored a workmanlike 68 in 129 balls. Both these batsmen had taken Scotland from 20 for 4 to 138 for 5. The Scotland wicket keeper, Douglas Lockhart who came in after Watson’s wicket scored a useful 25 to partner with McCallum in putting up 45 runs for the 6th wicket. The most appreciable thing was that all the four players, who had performed well including Paul Hoffman were all playing their 1st ODI!

The most famous Scotland player, Gavin Hamilton, who was a star in the 1999 World Cup had a disappointing time getting run out for a 10 ball-9. For the record, Gavin Hamilton had also played one Test Match for England, which was against South Africa in 1999. Even though Hamitlon has failed in this ODI against Pak, his batting average is still impressive at 45.20 and it includes two fifties. Mohammad Yousuf was the Man of the Match and Pakistan now move onto England for the Test Series and Scotland get on with their World Cup 2007 preparations.

Scotland 203/8 in 50 Ovs (Ryan Watson 80 Neil MacCullum 68 Douglas Lochart 25, Shoaib Malik 3/35 Umar Gul 2/19 Mohammad Asif 1/29 Shahid Afridi 1/42) lost to Pakistan 205/5 in 43.5 Ovs (Mohammad Yousuf 83* Abdul Razzaq 49* Younis Khan 25, Paul Hoffman 3/22 Dewald Nel 1/40 Ross Llyons 1/44) by 5 wickets in the Only ODI at the Grange Cricket Club Ground, Raeburn Place, Edinburg.

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