| An ecstatic Wasim Akram after crossing the 500-wicket mark against Holland in Paarl on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Paarl: Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul Haq experienced contrasting fortunes as Pakistan cruised to a 97-run victory over Holland in World Cup group A on Tuesday.
Akram became the first player in history to take 500 one-day International wickets, but Inzamam’s miserable World Cup continued when he was out for a second-ball duck.
Pakistan, desperate for a good performance after their crushing defeat to England, produced another unconvincing batting display in a total of 253 for nine, but their bowlers were more impressive as they routed the Dutch for 156 to keep their hopes of reaching the Super Sixes alive.
It was Akram’s day, the 36-year-old left-arm fast bowler reaching his milestone when he forced Holland opener Nick Statham to play a typically venomous inswinger on to his stumps.
He later had Klaas Jan van Noortwijk caught by wicketkeeper Rashid Latif and finished the match by trapping Jeroen Smits leg before to complete figures of three for 24.
“I’m very excited but in the end what matters is that Pakistan should qualify,” Akram said. “I think we are going in the right direction. I would like to dedicate this to all the people who have supported me in the last 18 years.”
Asked which players had helped him most in his career, Akram mentioned two former Pakistan captains.
“Imran (Khan) was the main man who helped me, and Javed Miandad.”
Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq were also among the wickets as the Dutchmen struggled, Daan van Bunge top-scoring with 31 including a six and three fours. There were also 40 extras.
Earlier, Yousuf Youhana top-scored for Pakistan with a run-a-ball 58, Taufeeq Umar made 48 and Abdul Razzaq 47, but Inzamam’s wretched form continued.
The fourth most prolific run-scorer in one-day International history lasted one ball longer than he did against England on Saturday before being trapped leg before by Dutch medium-pacer Tim de Leede.
Inzamam’s tally for the tournament remained at 10 runs from four innings.
Pakistan began steadily enough, Saeed Anwar and Umar sharing an opening partnership of 61 before Anwar drove rashly at a wide ball from De Leede and gave Jacob Jan Esmeijer a high catch at backward point.
Wickets then fell steadily to the disciplined Dutch attack and it needed a fluent innings from Youhana to lift Pakistan to a respectable total.
Razzaq played a few crisp attacking strokes before edging spinner Van Bunge to wicketkeeper Smits and Youhana watched in disbelief as Saleem Elahi and Wasim threw their wickets away.
Rashid Latif chipped in with a useful 24 and Shoaib, promoted from his usual No. 11 following his quickfire 43 against England, struck a huge six off Henk Jan Mol on the way to an unbeaten 26.