NAPIER - Pakistan have reached Napier, New Zealand Monday ahead of their match with the UAE on Wednesday with the hope of building on their vital victory against Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Pakistan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) are preparing to face off against one another in the  and both are in desperate need of a win. Through the first couple of weeks, Pakistan are sitting with a 1-2 record, while UAE is still winless with an 0-3 record.

In Pakistan’s first match of the World Cup, they ended up losing by 76 runs to India. Their second match was a worse loss, in which they were defeated by the West Indies by 150 runs. Finally, they got a win in their third match when they defeated Zimbabwe by 20 runs. But the win is still not enough to raise Pakistan above the points table as they are still sitting at sixth position due to poor run-rate.

Pakistan are desperate to make it to knock-out stage and they are in need of now some huge victory and minnows UAE provide them a perfect opportunity to become a strong contender for the quarter-final spot. UAE have not proved a hard nut to crack so far but have shown some remarkable performance s so far with the willow. UAE lost by 105 runs to Zimbabwe in their first match. In their second match, Ireland won by two wickets. Match three saw them lose by nine wickets to India.

Right now, both teams are taking up the final two spots in Pool B for the pool play. Pakistan was thrilled to get their first World Cup win, and they owe a lot of it to M Irfan. “He showed his class today and we expected he would come out the way he did,” Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor said of Irfan. It’s going to take a lot of work on the part of UAE to get their first win of the World Cup, but it isn’t totally out of the question. Stopping Irfan will be just one thing they need to focus on, and a lot of strong play will be necessary to finally get in better pool standing.

Pakistan Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has discussed with his teammates how to keep winning and make sure they secure a slot in the quarter-finals — even though they were well beaten by both India and the West Indies.

Though Pakistan’s twin defeats shattered their plans, Misbah is hopeful his players will rise to the challenge against the UAE, South Africa and Ireland in their remaining Pool B games. Misbah’s first step is to ensure his bowlers keep taking wickets to pile the pressure on their opponents. “Credit should be given to the bowlers (against Zimbabwe) and the way we just defended the total out there. They just kept the pressure up, kept taking wickets.”

Misbah also says his top order must somehow get some runs. “The top order is always the key and if we want to go further in this World Cup, we have to improve our top order batting,” he said. The skipper made it very clear that big totals are a must in the coming matches. Batting first and scoring only around 230, he said, would lead to defeats against strong teams like South Africa.

Misbah’s third point is wanting his all-rounders to click like Wahab Riaz did against Zimbabwe, when he took four wickets and hit a half century. Fourthly, he wants his bowlers to bowl according to the strengths of the opponent.

Citing Irfan, who bowled brilliantly against Zimbabwe to take four wickets, as an example, he said: “Zimbabweans were struggling against his short bowling and length bowling, so that was the plan and that’s what he did. Maybe against different teams he should bowl different lengths.”

UAE coach Aaqib Javed, a 1992 World Cup winner with Pakistan, cautioned them not to drop a bowler with the aim of strengthening the batting. “I believe the team should have five genuine bowlers who can take wickets. Never should they add another batsman thinking their bowling is weak,” Javed said. Another former Pakistan star, Mudassar Nazar, who is the UAE bowling coach, said that bashing of their team by former players should stop. “In ODIs, when your No. 1 off-spinner (Saeed Ajmal) is banned ahead of the World Cup, your senior-most batsman and off-spinner (M Hafeez) is also not there and best left-arm pacer (Junaid Khan) is also out, it is bound to affect you.”


Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohail Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil, Yasir Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed.

K Karate, Amjad Ali, Nasir Aziz, Rohan Mustafa, Manjula Guruge, Andri Berenger, Fahad Alhashmi, M Naveed, Kamran Shazad, Shaiman Anwar, M Tauqir, Khurram Khan, Swapnil Patil, Saqlain Haider, Amjad Javed.

head to head record

Matches played    2    2    0

In World Cup    1    1    0

Last match

Feb 24, 1996 Pakistan won by 9 wickets at Gujranwala.