ICC World Cup 2011,March,3-2011:Shahid Afridi took five wickets and accounted for a run out as Pakistan defeated Canada by 46 runs en-route their third consecutive victory in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
Shahid Afridi picked up his second five-wicket haul of the ICC Cricket World Cup as Pakistan secured a surprisingly hard-fought victory against a spirited Canada in Colombo
The Pakistan captain’s figures of five for 23 helped turn the tide his team’s way after Canada – chasing just 185 for the win – threatened to repeat Ireland’s feat from yesterday against their sub-continental opponents.
Batting first, Pakistan suffered a regular fall of wickets throughout as Harvir Baidwan led the charge with his three for 35, and only a 73-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal brought some respectability to their total.
In reply, Canada looked on top of the run rate through a 60-run partnership between Jimmy Hansra (43) and Zubin Surkari (27), which saw them fight back from two early wickets.
However, Afridi’s near-perfect spell in the midway stage toppled four batsmen – only three Canadian players scored double figures – and ensured Pakistan went top of Group A.
After Pakistan won the toss, the pace pairing of Henry Osinde and Baidwan broke through their top order with ease, dismissing Mohammad Hafeez (11) and Ahmed Shehzad (12) respectively before Baidwan trapped Younus Khan lbw for six.
And they were four down in the 16th over with Kamran Akmal (16) snared at backward point, but Misbah and Umar staged a rescue act to edge the total past 100 in 25 overs, and their fifth-wicket stand to 73.
However, Balaji Rao proved to be the duo’s falling as a defensive prod by Akmal saw him adjudged lbw for 48 while, just four overs later, Misbah nudged a wide delivery to be caught by wicketkeeper-captain Ashish Bagai for 37.
Canada’s constant pressure resulted in four quick wickets to end Pakistan’s innings with seven overs left. Afridi’s wild swings had him caught off Rizwan Cheema for 20 and Hansra dispatched Abdul Razzaq (eight) and Wahab Riaz (nought) in the 42nd over, before Baidwan bowled Saeed Ajmal to wrap things up.
Canada endured a shaky start as well, with Ruvindu Gunasekera out lbw for just eight to Umar Gul and youngster Nitish Kumar (two) bowled by Razzaq, but Surkari and Bagai negotiated the recovery well.
Skipper Afridi ended his counterpart’s innings, with Bagai (16) trapped lbw off a review, but the momentum remained with Canada as Surkari and Hansra patiently built a useful partnership of 60.
Only when Saeed Ajmal dismissed Surkari did the collapse begin, with Afridi the chief architect.
Cheema (four) was bowled attempting an ambitious slog, and in his next over, the skipper grabbed two in two balls, Hansra and Baidwan his victims, while Tyson Gordon (nine) was sent back after a brilliant running catch by Wahab.
Afridi had a moment of brilliance in the field when his direct hit sent back Balaji (one) while Wahab finished things off by bowling Osinde for nought in the 43rd over.