NAPIER: Opener Ahmed Shehzad missed his maiden World Cup century by seven runs as Pakistan piled up 339-6 against the United Arab Emirates in Napier on Wednesday.
Shehzad hit a 105-ball 93 and was ably supported by skipper Misbah-ul Haq who made a 49-ball 65 and Haris Sohail’s 83-ball 70 as Pakistan took full advantage of a weak bowling attack on a flat McLean Park pitch.
Put into bat by UAE skipper Mohammed Tauqir, an unchanged Pakistan lost out-of-form opener Nasir Jamshed in the fourth over for four, caught off left-arm paceman Manjula Guruge.
Guruge could have had Shehzad in his fourth over but Khurram Khan dropped a sharp chance when the batsman was on eight and three runs later Shehzad got another life off Mohammad Naveed.
Those laspes allowed Shehzad to add 160 runs for the second wicket with Sohail to provide an ideal platform for Misbah and Sohaib Maqsood.
Shehzad hit eight boundaries and a six but ran himself out while taking a sharp single. Sohail clubbed five boundaries and a six.
Maqsood helped Misbah add another rapid 75 for the fourth wicket, hitting four boundaries and two towering sixes during his 31-ball 45.
Misbah reached his 41st ODI half-century off just 39 balls. He hit four boundaries and two sixes before holing out off Guruge.
Shahid Afridi hit two sixes and a four in his seven-ball 21 not out.
Guruge was the pick of UAE bowlers with a career best 4-56.
Pakistan are in a must-win position in Pool B after losing to India and the West Indies before winning against Zimbabwe on Sunday. UAE have lost all their three previous matches.
The top four teams from each of the two pools of seven will earn quarter-finals berths.