Johannesburg: Veteran Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram smashed his way through the feeble Namibian batting line-up and into the World Cup record books on Sunday. Wasim, making a record 34th World Cup appearance, took his tally in cricket's showpiece to 50 and his overall haul to 498 One-day wickets as he took 5 for 28 to send the African minnows crashing to 84 all out at Kimberley. Shoaib Akhtar also chipped in with 4 for 46 as the 1992 champions bounced back from their heavy defeat at the hands of Australia to record a 171-run win.
Wasim's destructive spell was Pakistan's best ever at the World Cup, bettering the 5 for 35 by spinner Saqlain Mushtaq against Bangladesh four years ago. Pakistan had scored 255 for 9 from 50 overs after electing to bat in the group 'A' match before Wasim and Shoaib careered through the Namibian order. "It will be fun after 20 years to see how many bowlers have claimed 50 wickets in the World Cup," the veteran left-arm seamer Wasim said.
"If you play for 17-18 years and stay fit, you are bound to get records. The important thing is to enjoy the game which I am doing a lot." Namibia was in danger of falling for the lowest total in One-day Internationals when it slipped to 35 for 8, before Bjorn Kotze and Rudi van Vuuren added 42 for the last wicket.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |