Afridi saves the day
COLOMBO – Shahid Afridi made up for Pakistan’s ragged performance with the bat by collecting his second five-wicket haul of the World Cup as the 1992 champions beat Canada by 46 runs yesterday.
Canada looked as if they could produce the second shock of the tournament when they skittled Pakistan for 184 in just 43 overs and followed it up with some sensible batting from Zubin Surkari (27) and Jimmy Hansra to reach 104 for three.
But once leg-spinner Afridi (5-23) bowled Hansra for 43, the Canadians lost their way and were all out for 138, handing Pakistan their third successive win in Group A.
Afridi, who took five for 16 against Kenya last week, now tops the wicket-takers list with 14 scalps from three matches.
His stunning performance saved Pakistan’s blushes yesterday as the Canadians were well ahead of the required run rate and had seven wickets in hand at the start of the 34th over.
However, once Saeed Ajmal trapped Surkari lbw, the Canadian challenge quickly folded as Afridi ran riot bowling his leg-spin at a faster pace which completely bamboozled the North American batsmen.
They lost their last seven wickets for 34 runs.
Despite the win, Pakistan skipper Afridi admitted his team cannot repeat such a scrappy display with the bat if they are to win a second title.
“We did not have good shot selection and I think it’s a very good wake-up call for us for the next game,” said Man Of The Match Afridi.
“Myself and coach Waqar Younis will definitely talk to the boys and this will not happen again.
“We needed some partnerships and that’s what we were missing and that’s what the coach was saying. Partnerships are very important.” (AP)