Afridi rescues Pakistan

Captain takes five wickets to thwart Canada chase

Last updated: 3rd March 2011  

Jimmy Hansra Umar Akmal Canada v Pakistan

Jimmy Hansra made 43 during Canada's failed chase

Harvir Baidwan Canada v Pakistan

Harvir Baidwan (C) took three wickets for Canada

Umar Akmal Pakistan

Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 48

Shahid Afridi Pakistan v Canada

Afridi: hero for Pakistan again

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Shahid Afridi produced another inspired bowling performance to help Pakistan secure a 46-run win over Canada in Colombo.

The spinner claimed figures of 5-23 to see his side home after a less-than-assured performance with the bat had left Pakistan defending a total of just 184.

Canada looked on course to produce a major shock as they reached 104-3, but skipper Afridi tore through their middle order to save his side's blushes.

The result extends Pakistan's perfect start at the World Cup, with the 1992 champions now sitting top of Group A after three wins from three.

Pakistan elected to bat after winning the toss but suffered early setbacks as openers Mohammad Hafeez (11) and Ahmed Shehzad (12) were dismissed by pace pairing Henry Osinde and Harvir Baidwan respectively.

Baidwan then trapped Younus Khan lbw for six in the 13th over and when Kamran Akmal (16) was caught at backward point shortly afterwards, Pakistan were teetering on 67-4.

Recovery

But Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal would stage a recovery as they put on a fifth-wicket stand of 73 to edge the total towards the 150 mark.

Akmal, who would end up the top-scorer in the contest, was dismissed two runs short of a half-century as he was trapped lbw by Balaji Rao after a defensive prod.

And Balaji struck again just four overs later as Misbah was caught behind by skipper Ashish Bagai for 37 when he edged a wide delivery.

The lower order did not add much to the total as four quick wickets finished the Pakistan innings off.

Afridi was caught off the bowling of Rizwan Cheema for 20, while Jimmy Hansra sent Abdul Razzaq (eight) and Wahab Riaz (nought) packing in the 42nd over and Baidwan (3-35) bowled Saeed Ajmal to wrap things up.

Canada also suffered a shaky start with the bat as Ruvindu Gunasekera was given out lbw for only eight and teenage opening partner Nitish Kumar was bowled by Razzaq for two.

On course

Zubin Surkari and Bagai then did well to give them a chance of the upset before the latter was given out lbw off the bowling of Afridi in the 18th over.

The momentum remained with the underdogs as Hansra came to the crease and a partnership of 60 between him Surkari took them past 100.

But a collapse was triggered when Ajmal claimed the scalp of Surkari (27) before Afridi stepped in to put Pakistan firmly in control.

Rizwan Cheema (four) was bowled attempting an ambitious slog, while the skipper grabbed two in two balls in his next over.

Hansra and Baidwan were the victims, and Afridi completed his second five-for of the tournament shortly afterwards as Wahab took a fine running catch to dismiss Tyson Gordon (nine).

Afridi then showed his brilliance in the field when his direct hit accounted for Balaji (one) and Wahab sealed the win by bowling Osinde for a duck with more than seven overs remaining.

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