Colombo: Netherlands skipper Roland Lefebvre conceded on Saturday he had never expected his team would suffer a huge defeat against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy One-day tournament. "We got hammered in the end. I did not expect the game to be over that quick," Lefebvre said after his team's nine-wicket defeat in an inconsequential league match.
Sri Lanka has already qualified for the semi-finals from the three-team group after beating both Pakistan and the Netherlands. Pakistan finished the match in just 16.2 overs, comfortably surpassing the Dutch total of 136 for its first win in two matches. "We knew they will go for their shots, but thought we could contain them. They have got some clean hitters of the ball. Afridi scored 100 off 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Kenya (in 1996), so it must have been like this." Shahid Afridi made merry against an inexperienced Dutch attack as he cracked the second fastest half-century in One-day Internationals, taking just 18 balls to score an unbeaten 55 with six sixes and four boundaries. The Netherlands, playing only its seventh One-day International, had the consolation of batting the entire 50 overs for the first time in two games. "I am glad we stayed for 50 overs and this is one of the positives from the match," said Lefebvre. He defended his decision to bat first after winning the toss despite his team's batting limitations against strong attacks. "The wicket was good and flat and I thought we had to be positive and score around 180-200 and then go after them. It is important for batsmen to take some responsibilities. You cannot hide at this level," he said. Pakistani skipper Waqar Younis said he was impressed with his team's top-order batting ahead of a three-Test series against a formidable Australia. "There were a few positives in the win, though the opposition was weak," said Waqar. "We have started batting better and I hope we continue to do so in the upcoming Test matches." Pakistan will play its opening Test against Australia here in the first week of October and the last two at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Afridi slams second fastest 50, Pak wins by 9-wkts