Sri Lankans star in Afro-Asia encounter;survives Pollock scare

BANGALORE, India, June 6, 2007 (AFP) – Shaun Pollock smashed a maiden one-day century, but failed to stop Asia from posting a 34-run win over Africa in the first match of the Afro-Asia cricket series here on Wednesday. The South African scored a robust 130 as his team were restricted to 283 while chasing a stiff 318-run target under lights to concede a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Africa were wobbling at 31-5 before all-rounder Pollock led the recovery with a brilliant innings under pressure. He received valuable support from Zimbabwean Elton Chigumbura (40) and Kenyan Thomas Odoyo (39).

Pollock, playing only as a batsman after undergoing a foot surgery recently, gave many anxious moments to the Asian team as he put on 67 for the eighth wicket with Chigumbura and 103 for the next with Odoyo.

The South African reached his hundred in style, hitting Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif for a four. He struck one six and 19 fours in his 110-ball knock.

Asia’s total owed much of its substance to Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (66) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (65), who put on 94 for the fourth wicket to prop up the innings.

Yousuf also became the third Pakistani batsman to complete 8,000 run