Pakistanis face up to tall order

PAKISTAN'S World Cup campaign could finally be looking up, especially when it comes to giant fast bowler Mohammad Irfan.

Irfan, who at 216cm is the tallest player in world cricket, struggled with his form as Pakistan was thrashed by India and West Indies in its opening two games of the tournament.

The 32-year-old left-arm paceman could not find his rhythm as he leaked 102 runs from those two outings, although Chris Gayle was a prized one and only scalp.

But against Zimbabwe on Sunday at the Gabba, Irfan did not let skipper Misbah-ul-Haq down, his steep bounce contributing to a career-best 4-30 as the Pakistanis registered their first win.

"Since I was not bowling well in the earlier matches, I had to cut down on my pace to concentrate on my line and length," he said.

"But now I have got used to (the conditions) so the pace is also increasing."

That will not be what the United Arab Emirates batsmen will want to hear, especially after being bowled out for 102 in their last game against India at the WACA on Saturday.

Still looking for a first win at this year's World Cup, the UAE will be hoping that today's pitch in Napier in New Zealand, will not be as bouncy as the Perth deck or the one in Brisbane when Irfan did so well.

If it does show any signs of life then the Pakistani paceman could once again be the one to get the best out of the wicket and get Pakistan's World Cup back on track.


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