All-rounder Afridi hands Pakistan another win

DHAKA: Shahid Afridi grabbed five wickets for 23 runs and then kept his cool in a batting crisis as Pakistan overcame Bangladesh by five wickets in the first one-day international in Dhaka on Thursday.

The leg-spinner ripped through the Bangladesh line-up as the hosts were bowled out for 91 after electing to bat at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium – with seven batsmen failing to reach double figures.

Pakistan lost five wickets chasing the modest target which was eventually overhauled in the 26th over to give the tourists the lead in the three-match series.

Seamer Rubel Hossain and spinner Shakib Al Hasan claimed two wickets apiece to leave Pakistan struggling at 63-5, before Afridi took his team home with an unbeaten 24 off 23 balls.

As the runs dried up on the turning wicket, Afridi broke free with three successive fours off Shakib and then cut the same bowler for another boundary to win the game.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq made 16 not out, sharing a match-winning stand of 30 with Afridi.

It was Pakistan’s 26th win in 27 one-dayers against Bangladesh, the lone defeat having come during the 1999 World Cup in England.

Bangladesh, who lost half the side for 31 runs on the slow wicket, were dismissed in 30.3 overs and barely managed to surpass their lowest one-day total against Pakistan of 87.

Wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed picked up four catches as the four Pakistani spinners shared eight of the 10 wickets. (AFP)

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