Afredi saves Pakistan blushes

Afredi saves Pakistan blushes

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi stepped up to the crease to save his side’s blushes after Canada had looked set for a major shock in the ICC World Cup in Colombo on Thursday.

Chasing a modest target of 185 runs, an upset looked on the cards as the Canadian batsmen reached 104-3 until the Pakistan skipper wrested control by spinning out Canada’s middle order. After Saeed Ajmal trapped Zubin Surkari with the score on 104, Alfredi followed with three quick wickets to reduce Canada to 114-7 on his way to bowling figures of 5 for 23.

Canada were eventually all out for 138 and Pakistan overcame the scare to win by 46 runs to maintain their 100% record in the tournament. Canada’s paceman Harvir Baidwan helped restrict the Pakistan batting taking 3 for 35 including the wickets of Ahmed Shehzad and Younus Khan which saw the 1992 champions struggling with 67-4 at one stage.

Misbah-ul-Haq with 37 runs and Umar Akmal who scored 48, sparked a middle order revival with Afridi chipping in with 20 as Pakistan recovered to 184 all out in 43 overs. The run total looked like it would be enough when Pakistan attack soon had Canada openers in back in the pavilion at 16-2, Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq claiming a wicket apiece.

Ashish Bagai hit 16 runs as Canada tried to get back into the game and when Jimmy Hansra joined Surkari at the wicket, the pair forged a 60 run partnership and the promise of a huge upset. But Alfredi wasn’t prepared to allow this to happen and when he bowled Hansra for 43 the score was 114-6 with only the Canadian tail remaining. They mustered another 24 runs before Wahab Riaz wrapped up the innings after 42.5 overs.

Man-of-the-match Afredi was relieved afterwards and let his batsmen know they must do better: "We're not going to repeat this batting performance again, I think sometimes we need some partnerships and that's what we were missing," he said.

Pakistan won by 46 runs

Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Osinde 11
A Shehzad c Gordon b Baidwan 12
K Akmal c Kumar b Cheema 16
Y K Khan lbw b Baidwan 6
Misbah-ul-Haq c Bagai b Balaji Rao 37
Umar Akmal lbw b Balaji Rao 48
S Afridi c Kumar b Cheema 20
Abdul Razzaq lbw b Hansra 8
U Gul not out 2
Wahab Riaz c Balaji Rao b Hansra 0
S Ajmal b Baidwan 0 0 0 5
Extras 19

Chauhan 3.3 0 10-0
Osinde 7 1 25-1
Gordon 0.3 0 1-0
Baidwan 8 1 35-3
Cheema 8 0 33-2
Balaji Rao 10 0 50-2
Hansra 6 1 23-2

R Gunasekera lbw b Gul 8
N R Kumar b Razzaq 2
Z E Surkari lbw b Ajmal 27
A Bagai lbw b Afridi 16
A S Hansra b Afridi 43
Rizwan Cheema b Afridi 4
T Gordon c Riaz b Afridi 9
H S Baidwan b Afridi 0
Khurram Chauhan not out 5
W D Balaji Rao run out 1
H Osinde b Riaz 0
Extras 17

Razzaq 7 2 16-1
Gul 7 1 20-1
Afridi 10 0 23-5
Riaz 5.5 0 23-1
Ajmal 8 0 31-1
Hafeez 5 0 21-0



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