Sharjah: All-rounder Shahid Afridi take five wickets while Younis Khan and Imran Farhat both hit half-centuries as Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 7 wickets in the day-night international on Friday.
Afridi claimed 5-36 as Afghanistan were bowled out for 195 in 48.3 overs before Younis hit an victorious 70 and Farhat made 52 to help Pakistan reach their meet target in 37.1 overs in the first-ever one-day between the two country. In spite of the loss, Afghanistan still put up a stirred display at Sharjah Stadium, explanatory their rise in international cricket which saw them win the right to play one-day in 2009.
Younis, who hit 10 fours off 65 balls, added 57 for the third wicket with Farhat after paceman Dawlat Zardan dismiss opener Mohammad Hafeez (eight) and Asad Shafiq (20) in his first five over’s to leave Pakistan at 42-2.Even after Farhat's the sack to spinner Samiullah Shinwari, Yonuis constant to excel, adding an unbeaten 99 with skipper Misbah-ul Haq, who scored 40 not out with 3 fours and 2 sixes, for the fourth wicket.
Before Afridi derailed Afghanistan's improvement who were set on track for a struggle total by opener Karim Sadiq (40) after they won the toss and sure to bat.Afridi also become the 2nd spinner with the top number of one-day wickets (338) behind Muttiah Muralitharan (534), but surpass India's Anil Kumble who had 333 wickets.
In spite of Afridi's brilliance, the Afghan batsmen put up a superb show and had they not lack experience - playing their first one-day international next to a top nation - they would have scored more. There were plenty of fireworks on and off the field as the Afghan batsmen hit six sixes during their innings which happy the bumper 15,000-strong weekend crowd -- mostly Pakistan and Afghan expats.
Paceman Umar Gul provide Pakistan with the early get through when he caught Noor Ali (9) off his own bowling before Afridi dismissed Shahzad (20), Nawroz (11), Gulbadin Naib (7) and Sadiq in his first spell.Sadiq hit 2 boundaries and 2 sixes during his aggressive 47-ball knock. Mohammad Nabi, who scored 37 with 2 sixes, added 46 for the 6th wicket with Shinwari who complete on 32, an innings studded with four boundaries.
Gul and Wahab Riaz took two wickets each one. Pakistan now plays England in the first of four ODI internationals in Abu Dhabi on Monday.