Afridi’s five-for help Pakistan beat Canada
Colombo: Skipper Shahid Afridi led from the front with a scintillating five-wicket haul to help Pakistan notch up a 46-run victory over Canada in a Group A World Cup match here on Thursday.
Inspired by Afridi’s exploits, Pakistan shot out Canada for 138 in 42.5 overs after folding for a modest 184 batting first at the R Premadasa Stadium here.
Afridi, who grabbed 5-16 and 4-34 against Kenya and Sri Lanka respectively in their last two matches, became the first bowler to take three consecutive four-wicket hauls in World Cup history.
Apart from dismissing Ashish Bagai (16), Jimmy Hansra (43), Rizwan Cheema (4), Tyson Gordon (9) and Harvir Baidwan (0) in his 10 overs, Afridi also produced a brilliant direct throw to sent back Balaji Rao at the fag end of the match.
Chasing 185 to win, Canada were off to a disastrous start as they slipped to 44 for three in 17.1 overs. Zubin Surkari (27) and Jimmy Hansra (43) added a fighting 60-run partnership to lift Canada to 104.
But with Saeed Ajmal trapping Surkari in front of wicket in the 34th over and Afridi taking two wicket in consecutive deliveries meant Pakistan was back in the game.
Afridi first sent Rizwan Cheema’s off stump for a walk with his googly and then disturbed HS Baidwan’s woods with his quick ripper to reduce Canada to 114 for seven.
The skipper returned again to dismiss TG Gordon with Wahab Riwaz taking a superb catch to complete his second five wicket haul here.
Earlier, Canada had conjured up hopes of an upset when their bowlers bowled out the former champions Pakistan for 184 in their World Cup group A match.
Pakistan found the disciplined Canada attack too hot to handle as, after opting to bat, they lost wickets at regular intervals to be finally bundled out inside the 200-run mark in 43 overs.
If not for the 73-run fifth wicket stand between Misbah-ul-Haq (37) and Umar Akmal (48), Pakistan could have folded up for a lesser total as they lost their last six wickets for just 44 runs.
India-born medium-pacer Harvir Baidwan was the pick of the Canada bowlers with figures of three for 35 runs while Hansra (2/23), Cheema (2/33) and Rao (2/50) snared two wickets apiece to spell Pakistan’s doom.