Karachi: Star Pakistani all-rounders Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi demonstrated blazing batting prowess to lift the Shell international double wicket contest under floodlights at National Stadium in Karachi on Tuesday.Playing for Pakistan Blues, Akram and Afridi recorded a 19-run win in the final over compatriots Aamir Sohail and Abdur Razzaq of Pakistan Greens to win a prize of 8,000 dollars in the eight-team contest. Afridi hit a fiery 95 with seven towering sixes and eight forceful fours while Akram made 61 with a six and eight fours in Pakistan Blues' 162-5.As per tournament rules 10 runs were deducted for each dismissal which gave Pakistan Blues a net total of 112.Sohail and Razzaq too batted aggressively and almost carried the day. The losing finalists pocketed $ 6,000.Earlier Pakistan Blues defeated New Zealand's pair of Mark Greatbatch and Richard Petrie by 87 runs while Pakistan Greens downed Kenyan pair of Steve Tikolo and Thomos Odoyo in the semi-final. Pairs from New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zimbabwe and England took part in the event. India's pair of Robin Singh and Sunil Joshi failed to arrive after they were refused permission by their government. "Double wicket type of cricket is gaining popularity in the world and it's fun cricket for the fans," Akram told AFP. About 18,000 people watched the final. Akram later left for Australia to appear in former Aussie wicket-keeper Ian Healy's testimonial match to be played on Thursday in Brisbane.
Copyright AFP 2000