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Afridi's incredible all-round display enabled Pakistan to cruise to an easy win after an awful start on a difficult pitch.
Afridi's incredible all-round display enabled Pakistan to cruise to an easy win after an awful start on a difficult pitch.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi returned to international cricket with a blistering half century and a career-best 7-12 as Pakistan recorded a thumping 126-run victory over West Indies in the first one-day international on Sunday.

Afridi, recalled after missing last month's Champions Trophy due to poor form, scored 76 off 55 balls to pilot Pakistan to 224-9. Afridi then skittled West Indies out for 98 in 41 overs to record the second-best ever bowling figures in one-day internationals after Sri Lanka's Chamina Vaas' 8-19 against Zimbabwe in 2001.

It was also West Indies lowest ever ODI total against Pakistan.

West Indies had Pakistan on the mat at 47-5 before Afridi and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (52) featured in a 120-run stand against some inconsistent bowling which saw the home team bowling 23 wide balls. The partnership was sixth-wicket record for Pakistan against the West Indies in ODIs.

“It was the most difficult pitch on which I have ever played,” Misbah said.

“The ball was seaming and stopping, but it was Afridi's day, the way he batted and bowled.”

West Indies never looked to threaten Pakistan's total from the onset once 7-foot-1-inch fast bowler Mohammad Irfan clean bowled Johnson Charles with a low full toss and had Darren Bravo caught behind down the legside. Chris Gayle, who wanted to make his 250th ODI appearance a memorable one, was run out in a mix-up with Marlon Samuels for just one run as West Indies slumped to 7-3 in five overs. Lendl Simmons and Samuels batted at a snail's pace before Afridi started the slide in the 23rd over.

Afridi had Simmons stumped and trapped captain Dwayne Bravo leg before wicket off the next delivery. He went on to claim the wickets of Kieron Pollard, Samuels and Kemar Roach in his opening spell of eight overs before he returned to finish off the innings by claiming the last two wickets of Sunil Narine and Holder.

“Wow, wow, wow, what a pitch it was for me to bowl on. I just try to keep it simple, sometimes I get good turn off the pitch and if I don't get turn I try to bowl straight ones for leg before wicket decisions,” Afridi said after the match.

“I try hard and I back myself and I want to thank people back home. It's not time for me to just survive in the team, but to give a lot to the team.”

Of his explosive knock earlier in the day Afridi said, “I tried to stay positive. I knew Misbah was at the other end. I knew he would stay till the end, it gave me the confidence to go after it.”

There was another milestone for Afridi in the match as he reached 350 wickets in ODIs to become the third Pakistani to achieve the feat after Wasim Akram (502) and Waqar Younis (416).

The second ODI of the five-match series will be played at the same venue Tuesday.

Comments (7) Closed

lionman Jul 15, 2013 09:21am

To the rest of the batting line up except Misbah ---- koch seeko Shahid sey you gotta have agression in you

WeCare Jul 15, 2013 01:42pm

Good performance and he deserves the appreciation on this one, however let's see if he can build on it as that seems the real problem for Afridi. His usual trend is: One match too good while other match too dismal. I wish for his success but based on his past performances, must keep fingers crossed. Also, this game wasn't champions trophy or world cup so let's see if he can do the same on important matches too. We like him to perform but unfortunately he has been very un-reliable for major part of his career.

meela Jul 15, 2013 02:07pm

Afridi we proud of you keep it up.

rahul Jul 16, 2013 01:55pm

Terrific all round performance from Afridi, deserve all the praise. On a slow/sluggish/gripping pitch, batting was never easy. Afridi took his chances under controlled aggression mode, scored 76 off 55. A win for Pakistan does not tell whole story, as you pointed out " the rest of the Pakistan team combined to score 120 off 245 ", take out Misbah's 52 off 121 balls & 28 extras, REST OF THE PAKISTAN TEAM COMBINED TO SCORE JUST 40 off 124 balls ! Surely batting remains the grey area and it's high time that the coach/selectors come up with solutions.

Sachin Jul 16, 2013 02:11pm

Its time !! What were you waiting for? Anyhow one performance does not make you a savior. Show some consistency and then talk...

Mr.T Jul 16, 2013 02:44pm

It's time, what a cricket at end of his career he is saying it's time for him to give, just like old aged people start praying, when their peak of time they never listen to anyone. There's no miracle afridi gonna produce one match he perform and 99 matches he will not. Stupid and fools fans will forget 99 matches and shout about 1 match performance, what a loosers

raj Jul 17, 2013 11:49am

@Mr.T:common Mr.T dont think as Nuts anyway u eat foood not eat wat a swine eats so think good and speak sensible....