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Afridi recorded the second-best ever bowling figures in ODI cricket. -Photo by AP
Afridi recorded the second-best ever bowling figures in ODI cricket. -Photo by AP

GEORGETOWN: Shahid Afridi made one of the more remarkable comebacks in international cricket in leading Pakistan to a crushing 126-run victory over the West Indies in the first one-day international at the Guyana National Stadium on Sunday.

Omitted from his country's failed Champions Trophy campaign, the mercurial all-rounder recorded the best-ever ODI bowling figures by a Pakistani, and the second best overall, snaring seven for 12 to rout the home side for just 98 off 41 overs after having top-scored with a typically swashbuckling 76 in the visitors' total of 224 for nine.

This match represented yet another stunning spike in the 17-year international career of a cricketer whose ability to delight and entertain with his extravagant manner has often been overshadowed by an almost chronic failure to deliver at the most critical of times.

Fortunately for Pakistan, this was not one of those times and his impact on the match started with his domination of a 120-run sixth-wicket partnership with his captain, Misbah-ul-Haq (52), the pair rescuing their team from the depths of 47 for five after gangling fast-medium bowler Jason Holder had wrecked the top order in finishing with the excellent figures of four for 13.

While Misbah laboured towards yet another workmanlike half-century, occupying 121 deliveries, Afridi's knock was a hurricane by comparison, decorated by five sixes and six fours off just 55 deliveries.

He looked well on the way to completing a hundred but perished in the 39th over, caught by Darren Sammy at deep midwicket off the bowling of Kieron Pollard.

West Indies would have been expecting the likes of Pollard and fellow big-hitter Chris Gayle to produce similar innings to give their team a fighting chance of getting the 225 runs needed for victory.

However that hope never materialised, and while Afridi took most of the glory with his demolition job with the ball, the early damage was done by Mohammad Irfan.

In overcast, seamer-friendly conditions, the giant left-arm pacer disconcerted the top-order of the West Indies with his speed and trajectory from such a great height, bowling Johnson Charles with a swinging full-toss and then forcing Darren Bravo to glove a lifting delivery on the body for wicketkeeper Umar Akmal to take the catch down the leg-side.

Pakistan then got a huge boost when new batsman Marlon Samuels called Gayle for a sharp single and Misbah's direct hit from cover found the dangerous opener short of his ground and the West Indies wobbling badly at seven for three.

All the support bowlers maintained the pressure and when Afridi came on as the fifth change, the floodgates really opened.

Unable to cope with his cocktail of top-spinners and googlies, a succession of batsmen ill-equipped mentally and technically to cope with such wiles succumbed without much of a fight as five wickets crashed for 14 runs.

Only Samuels (25) showed any meaningful resistance, but it was never going to be enough against a rampant Afridi, who finished off the match by trapping Holder, the early destroyer for the West Indies, palpably lbw.

Only Sri Lanka's Chamina Vaas, 8-19 against Zimbabwe in 2001, has a better return in ODI cricket. The match also produced West Indies' lowest ever ODI total against Pakistan.

Pakistan: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Asad Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles (wk), Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (capt), Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine, Jason Holder

Comments (79) Closed

Sarah Jul 14, 2013 10:47pm

Please drop Hafeez and Asad Shafiq from team.They have played too long now and they are finding batting too difficult in ODI.Not needed liabilities any more.Have taken their load too long now.Hafeez drop yourself for sake of team,your batting is sheer joke in cricket.

Ammar Jul 14, 2013 10:52pm

When are we ever going to find openers in Cricket

Burki Jul 14, 2013 11:29pm

this guy M. Hafeez really needs to go. I don't know why selectors keep picking him for the crucial position of an opener. Despite playing for 9 yrs, he still can't judge the bowl correctly. A decent knock here n there once a blue moon doesn't really qualify him as a perpetual opening batsman. We need to invest in youngsters like Asad Shafiq & Nasir Jamshed. Give them enough opportunities and I am sure they'll blossom into quality batsmen, specially Nasir - this kid plays his heart out, always gutsy & fearless and he's got the timing, footwork and the ability to judge the bowl unlike this pathetic Hafeez.

pakistani Jul 14, 2013 11:31pm

now where all those who wanted afridi out of team.....

Riz - US Jul 14, 2013 11:42pm

@Sarah: I guess only Hafeez need to go at this time as he has been made professor for no reason - He should be called "duck professor".

Que Jul 15, 2013 12:53am


pakistani Jul 15, 2013 01:10am

Where are all those who wanted Afridi out....

beg Jul 15, 2013 01:22am

the lion is back with a roar -welldone afridi

raju Jul 15, 2013 02:08am

its black day for all who were against inclusion of Afridi in the team. Haha only Indians were in his favor.

Bilal Ahmed Jul 15, 2013 02:26am

To whoever wrote this article,

The correct term is a 'five-for' not a 'fiver'.

lodhi Jul 15, 2013 02:52am

@Sarah: but his bowling is the best.He will regain his batting form soon.soon.

bilal humayun Jul 15, 2013 03:22am

Its gud

saad Jul 15, 2013 03:24am

@Ammar: We may have found opners nasir and shezad look good and are young

optimist Jul 15, 2013 03:36am

Afridi has silenced his critics with his masterly performance. But this was a one man show. Hafeez needs tom open or bat lower down the order. A. Rahman should come in place of Wahab Riaz as WI are suspect against spin. Asad Shafiq should be replaced by Umar Amin. I still don't understand the wisdom in selecting Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal for the Champions Trophy and not taking Shahid Afridi on that tour. Selectors should be asked to give an explanation, if the selectors were pressured then they should have resigned.

Dr. Sohaib Rana Jul 15, 2013 03:51am

U cannot ignore boom boom at any stage..mashaALLAH...

Shahid Jul 15, 2013 03:53am

Next hundered matches are confirmed for afridi, based on this match.

Shujah Jul 15, 2013 03:58am

Those who are trying to criticize Hafeez don't make any cricketing sense. Best batsmen fail while facing best bowling, same was the case when 4 wickets fell against WI today. But why all the aggression for Hafeez only. The guy is 2nd ranked as all-rounder and 6th ranked in ICC bowling ranking and is a great fielder. I am sure , he will regain his form. No words needed for Afridi, the guy was simply brilliant today.

Asim Jul 15, 2013 04:00am

Afridi confirmed himself till world cup. Wishing him all the best.

shahid Jul 15, 2013 04:06am

Well done Lala, This performance should silence your critics for a long time,

raj Jul 15, 2013 04:08am

@Burki: he's been the mainstay for this team for at least the last 2 years. Well balanced and plays positive cricket - unlike Afridi - whose performances are flash in a pan ..

Emm Jul 15, 2013 04:21am

@Sarah: Don't agree about Asad.

Abrar-il-Haque Jul 15, 2013 04:26am

While friends would be commenting here on today's match, I have a slightly different thing to comment on. Wicketkeepers are always there to encourage and buck up their bowlers and fielders, Umar Akmal's shouting after each ball was simply disgusting today and in fact embarrassing for every Pakistani. Not realising at all that he was at the world focus, he was behaving as if he was playing at his mohalla with street players. "Kia baat hai lala" and other such remarks after every ball in a bazari style prompted my family time and again to turn it off, but swashbuckling performance of Afridi forced us to continue watching. I wonder team officials like Manager don't observe such things? They could have told him by sending a message that he was very close to the mike and that he should behave.

yaz khan Jul 15, 2013 04:34am

thats why i told them to let him play... ;)

AMER Jul 15, 2013 04:45am

Because of Hafeez Abdul Razaq is out of team to build a big total we need solid batting performance from the top order now Hafeez has not delivered that, since the SA tour up to date Pakistan was in consistence pressure and could not score a descent total why does the management don't understand this is the time to introduce some new talent in the batting lineup the way Hafeez got out is just laughable drop him promote either Shafiq or Akmal to one down and bring Harris Sohail in and give him a chance "for God sack" it's better to loose with young talent rather then loosing with the same old tried and tested player's.Afridi just cant play a magnificent inning like that every time.

Sardar Ali Jul 15, 2013 04:54am

@Burki: Totally concur with your assessment. Would like to add about Misbab's place in the One day squad. The way he plays is quite disappointing. He should be the first one to go. The only place he has in the national squad is a Test series.

Naeem Syed Jul 15, 2013 05:00am

All I can say is Afridi is Back.

Sarah Jul 15, 2013 06:24am

@lodhi: I would prefer Abdul Rehman whose bowling is 100 times better than Hafeez and I am sure he would score lot more than 0 since Abdul Rehman has scored 60 in Test match against England. Hafeez has problem with his batting and is unfit for any slot at moment.Pakistan bowling is exceptional at any point of time.How many chances does Hafeez needs to prove his batting.He wasting the batsman spot at top of the order which puts middle and lower order batsman to take care of whole 50 overs which is not fair to them.

Shakespeare Jul 15, 2013 06:25am

@Bilal Ahmed: Terms change over the time. Otherwise, all of the humans would be speaking the same language by now - the one spoken by our great great......great grandfather Adam.

Mike Jul 15, 2013 06:26am

Can someone pls show the exit door to Hafeez. He is a useless batsman and just an ok bowler. I see a great future in Naser Jamshed if he is groomed properly.

Throw pathetic Hafeez out in next game.

ali Jul 15, 2013 08:04am

@Sarah: Agree, Hafeez & Shafiq totally failing constantly for a long time. Please give chance to Umar Amin and Haris Sohail also try Abdul Rehman in place of Saeed Ajmal. Asad ali is not better than Junaid khan with these changes for 2nd ODI Pakistan will be more impressive in overall performance

Naj Jul 15, 2013 08:25am

Awesome, now Afridi might have sealed his spot for another few years. Now he should not worry about losing his spot no matter how many more ducks and/or how many wicketless expensive bowling he will do...I hope he can stay mature.

Akram Jul 15, 2013 08:41am

@pakistani: Consistency is the key factor...we have seen enough of Afridi's one-match also tells much about lack of choice Pakistani cricket is facing today that it has to fall back on a 33 year old cricketer who is past his prime...whether you like it or not that is the reality.

nawazuddin Jul 15, 2013 08:41am

Afridi performs brilliantly in every 50th match he plays....he had failed for too long before getting the boot from selectors... It will b interesting to see where he goes from here.....secondly ,it has come against WI who couldn't even qualify for the finals despite having home advantage in the recently concluded tri series.

nawazuddin Jul 15, 2013 08:41am

Afridi performs brilliantly in every 50th match he plays....he had failed for too long before getting the boot from selectors... It will b interesting to see where he goes from here.....secondly ,it has come against WI who couldn't even qualify for the finals despite having home advantage in the recently concluded tri series.

shahab uddin Jul 15, 2013 08:43am

why afridi was not included in the champions trophy?the selectors take all the responsibility of made a poor team in the champions trophy, it seems the do not want even to win any match.its shocking.they must beg apology to afridi.

shahab uddin Jul 15, 2013 08:47am

why Afridi was omitted in the champions trophy, we always see that the selectors do not want Afridi in the team, he require to prove himself. now the champions trophy selectors should say sorry to Afridi.

RAJ Jul 15, 2013 08:55am

The great TUK TUK is responsible for Champions Trophy humilition defeat becoz he Dropped the best player in the world no one can take his position in demolition of his own kind the great LALA/...TEAM WILL BE THE BEST IF LALA GET CAPTANCY BACK AND PLAYERS LIKE NASIR JAMSHED,HAFEEZ ,MISBHA AND SHAFIQ GIVEN A LAST CHANCE TO BE CONSISTENT OR FIND A GOOD REPLACE FOR THEMMM..

Syed Ali Jul 15, 2013 09:15am

Well Done boys. Afridi is a true gentleman on and off the field! Just can not understand all those who had not only written him off; but had distasteful comments about him! Many a top cricketers from all over the world have periods of poor performance or failure; but this does not mean they have completely lost their brilliance...and Afridi is one of them. Only people who have just unreasonable prejudice against Afridi would want him out of the team. I wonder what they must be feeling now. I think Afridi still has a few international cricket years left in him...and he should be utilized at every opportunity, where his talent is needed. God Bless Pakistan Team & Afridi.

Maroof Jul 15, 2013 09:31am

"While Misbah laboured towards yet another workmanlike half-century, occupying 121 deliveries, Afridi's knock was a hurricane by comparison, decorated by five sixes and six fours off just 55 deliveries"

The reporter has lost its objectivity here... Afridi has no comparison with Misbah. Afridi is a once in decade type of performer.

Bipul Jul 15, 2013 09:33am

There is no way one can drop afridi. He is the man. Listen to Indian fans. Boom Boom Afridi ...

imran ghafoor Jul 15, 2013 09:45am

i love afridi . play sensebil thanhs

Ahmer Jul 15, 2013 10:31am

It was a crime not to select Afridi during the Championship Trophy matches. Shameful.

optimist Jul 15, 2013 10:37am

@Burki: I agree, Hafeez average is 27 per innings which is below the international mark. Pakistan needs to decide if they take him merely as a bowler then he should be sent down the order. Because of Hafeez, Abdul Razzak, a match winner, is out of the team, while the best ODI player Fawad Alam is not considered even for a training camp, despite that his average is over 40 and he is a man of crisis, he is a great fielder and a useful make shift bowler.

MTS Jul 15, 2013 11:33am

@pakistani: you will see them in the next 20 matches that afridi plays for Pakistan :) although being a Pakistani I hope I am wrong this time as I wish he continues with this form.

king Jul 15, 2013 12:10pm


king Jul 15, 2013 12:11pm


NK Ali Jul 15, 2013 12:24pm

Afridi was in overdrive or full afterburners. Yessir, he was full of explosive action. Shahid Afidi still has a lot of 'fire and thunder' cricket left in him. Scoring 76 runs in 55 balls and capturing 7 wickets at the cost of 12 runs, is no small achievement. Afridi is a man of his own makings and does not follow anybody else's genre oif cricket. Way to go Shahid and please keep up the good show all round. Salams

Fansclub Jul 15, 2013 12:27pm

@Maroof: Oh please Maroof. Once in a Decade type performer shud just means that he performs this way once in a decade. not to take the credit from Afridi's innings yesterday he was exceptional.

But if you move around and see other cricketers then you should know what does once in a decade performer means.

Sarah Jul 15, 2013 12:32pm

@Emm: International cricket is not place to learn batting.Here people get only one chance in many countries.You miss that one chance and your career is over.Pakistan has Harish Sohail,Umar Amin and few more new guys.They need chance ahead of guys who are failing consistently at top of order.

Osama Ahmad Jul 15, 2013 12:38pm

Afridi still going good...!!!!

Ahmed Jul 15, 2013 12:38pm

@Mike: I think Hafeez's role is that of all rounder. A replacement for Shoaib Malik. And while Malik was a better batsman than a bowler, Hafeez's bowling is better than his batting. Quite under-rated actually because he gives a lot of control. Look at his economy rate. But in batting he should come at number 7 or 8. He is surely not a top order caliber batsman.

Amir Jul 15, 2013 12:41pm

@Burki: Hafeez should be played as bowling all rounder and should come out to bat at number 7 or 8.

Rogers Evans Jul 15, 2013 12:59pm

Well done and congratulations, AFRIDI. Please keep it up and keep going. I think, Pakistan should bring back Razzaq also in place of Hafeez, who needs good rest

Raghu Jul 15, 2013 01:15pm

Yes it's a very good innings indeed, but can anyone tell me when he scored his prevoious 50? The main drawback with Afridi is lack of consistency which is very important!. PCB should be bold enough to sack Afirdi and give a chance to a newcomer if he is not consistent. Where is Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh? Anser is "LACK OF CONSISTENCY"

johar Jul 15, 2013 01:45pm

Why the reporters refers to umer Akmal the talented one. I think he will never be making any significant impact in the cricket world and time to try others.

nasim khan Jul 15, 2013 01:47pm

@Rogers Evans: your first is OK, but he maintain consistency, why would you want razzaq to be back in the team, pls. understand guys he has finished his career.

pct Jul 15, 2013 01:51pm

well done team pakistan specially afridi,,but we should also have noticed the weaknesses in our team,our top order has collapsed again,,i was thinking that we will hardly make 100-150 runs but by the grace of Allah afridi played incredibley and it does not happen always so we should be careful..

Azam Mahmood Jul 15, 2013 02:03pm

PCB now should call and send Razzak to West Indies.

kaustubh Jul 15, 2013 02:33pm

it was a privilage to watch afridi's clinical performance, each six he hits is a pure delight and even if he was playing against india we loved his sixes, remember clearly his fantastic hundred against india in kanpur almost a decade ago, he should be a permanent member of pakistan team to balance out Mishbah ul haq's bullock cart style of batting.

maaz ahmed Jul 15, 2013 02:36pm

after a lot of time we saw a sensible cricket from afridi side...........he should play like this constantly

Firdous Rasool Malik Jul 15, 2013 03:44pm

Great bowlin lala

Omar Jul 15, 2013 04:09pm

@Ahmer: It was that drop which made him work on his fitness and as a result, his bowling is close to his best now, the drift and the dip, so crucial to a spinner, are back!

Imraan mehmood Jul 15, 2013 04:19pm

But when he plays against India, he walks away with one or zero runs, why ???

mohit Jul 15, 2013 04:29pm

I still dont think afridi as good player. he is not a consistent player. pakistan has to come up with young blood.

Shabedeh Jul 15, 2013 04:43pm

@Bipul: our khan lala is back!!!!!!!

Asia Jul 15, 2013 05:59pm

Fixed for sure

TUFAL KHAN Jul 15, 2013 06:33pm

@Sardar Ali: Pakistan is the only cricket team which has an ' anchor ' in the form M isbah. He has a defeated mentality and is no more than a liability for the team . In one day format you don't need an anchor. I say drop him ASAP from all formats except test.

imran Jul 15, 2013 07:58pm

@Maroof: Exactly and he performs once in a decade. He played well yesterday, but needs to keep playing well consistently which he hasnt done in last 17 years. I hope he leans it and hope people learn it to, cricket isnt just hit and run, there is alot more than this. and thats what Afridi needs to be told of.

Vairamuthu Jul 15, 2013 08:17pm

Just now watched the highlights. Awesome hitting by Shahid Afridi. Great all round performance. But I just would like to mention that Shahid bhai should exercise some caution when batting and not swing at all deliveries, but as Waqar bhai said Afridi or Sehwag never change their approach towards the game at what position they are. Anyway had a great treat to watch him bat and bowl.

Bong Jul 15, 2013 08:32pm

When Mr, Sidhu had a made a comment supporting Mr. Afridi's inclusion in the Pak team, there was a lot of name calling that was going on. Heheh the shoe is on the other foot now.....

Nadeem Jul 15, 2013 08:51pm

@Rogers Evans: Hafeez is selfish, he only score in T-20 to save his captaincy.

athar Jul 15, 2013 09:31pm

Hafeez should go without any doubt. Enough chances were given but still failed. Moreover he is a politician and always divide the team. such player should exist in the team regardless even he is performinh. Asad Shafiq needs time to click & needs confidence of the management. He should not play in fear if he does not perform he will be out immediately. He should be given enough chances like other players.

Amal Jul 15, 2013 09:35pm

@Que: AFRIDI is the greatest Pakistani cricketer and its biggest match winner ever !! Keep going Afridi for the next 10 years !

Amal Jul 15, 2013 09:37pm

@Rogers Evans:

I agree, Razzak should be brought back to the team. and Shoaib deserves another chance since he will be critical for the next world cup providing experience and calm to the team.

Amal Jul 15, 2013 09:38pm


Hafeez likes to open but Misbah is playing politics with him and making him come one down and that is not working. Hafeez has to go back to opening and perform for the world cup.

Name Jul 15, 2013 10:49pm

Afidi ap rishwat lene wala nai hai islaye allah sath ditha hai or inshallah hamari dowain or allah tumhare saath hai ya allah tum shahid afridi ko kamyab karo or hamare mulk ko ek aman wala pakistan bana do (amin somma amin)

Ranganath Jul 16, 2013 11:28am

Nice to see Afridi back. Hope he can make runs and take wickets consistently and doesn't disappoint us in future matches.

Iqbal Jul 16, 2013 02:46pm

Once-in-a-five-year performance.... i am sure it will qualify him for World cup 2015 without having to play another such innings !

sana Jul 17, 2013 12:28pm