Napier, New Zealand: Ahmed Shehzad scored 93 and Haris Sohail added 70 in a 160-run second-wicket partnership which helped Pakistan recover from a hesitant start to reach 339-6 on Wednesday in a Cricket World Cup Pool B match against the United Arab Emirates.
Shehzad, who was dropped when he was 11 and 1992 champion Pakistan was struggling at 27-1 in the ninth over, was eventually run out as he approached his seventh one-day international century. Sohail was out for his second-highest score in ODIs.
Both fell during a batting powerplay in which Pakistan stumbled from 148-1 to 177-3, losing some of its momentum before captain Misbah-ul-Haq made 65 to lead his team past 300 for the first time at the tournament. Sohaib Maqsood scored 45 from 31 balls, sharing a 75-run partnership with Misbah for the fourth wicket.
Pakistan has struggled for batting form throughout the tournament, making 224 in losing to India by 76 runs, 160 in losing to the West Indies by 150 runs and 235-7 in beating Zimbabwe by 20 runs. Its failures with the bat were more glaringly evident in a tournament in which teams have surpassed 400 twice and 300 12 times in 24 matches.
Pakistan had the chance to repair that record Thursday when UAE captain Imran Tauqir won the toss and surprisingly chose to bowl on a pitch at McLean Park on which teams batting first have averaged 304 in the last 10 ODIs.
But Pakistan again struggled to give its innings early impetus. It was only 10 in the fourth over when opener Nasir Jamshed, who has scores of 0 and 1 in his previous innings at the tournament, fell to a mis-timed pull shot which was caught by Khurram Khan from the bowling of Manjula Guruge.
Pakistan struggled to 68-1 after 15 overs but Shehzad and Sohail put on 80 in the next 15 overs to give their team a chance, with wickets in hand, of a score in excess of 300.
The loss of the second-wicket pair in relatively quick succession set back the Paksitan innings and allowed UAE to pull back the scoring rate with its slower bowlers. Sohail first holed out to Shaiman Anwar off the bowling of Mohammad Naveed and Shehzad took a miscalculated run and was dismissed at 176-3.
Misbah was cautious at first, then hit out, reaching his half century from 39 balls.
He and Umar Akmal were out to consecutive balls in the 49th over, bowled by Guruge (4-56). Shahid Afridi added gloss to the Pakistan total, hitting an unbeaten 21 from seven balls.