52-Ball Afridi Century Sets Up Comprehensive Win
Pakistan 385-7 (Shahid Afridi 124, Imran Farhat 66) beat
Bangladesh 246-5 (Junaid Siddique 97, Imrul Kayes 66) by 139 runs
Asia Cup game five, Dambulla
Shahid Afridi hammered a 52-ball century and three other batsmen scored half-centuries as Pakistan beat Bangladesh by the huge margin of 139 runs in their final match of the Asia Cup in Dambulla.
After Pakistan hammered 385 for seven batting first, Bangladesh never threatened to get close to the total and eventually saw out their 50 overs on a creditable, but inadequate, 246 for five.
Neither side could qualify for the final but that wasn't going to stop Pakistan easily surpassing their previous highest ODI score of 371 with Afridi hitting a career-best 124 in just 60 balls.
The captain hit 17 fours and four sixes to help revive an innings that had stuttered a little after openers Imran Farhat (66) and Shahzaib Hasan (50) put on 81 for the first wicket.
Hasan set the tone by blasting six fours and two sixes in his 38-ball knock but he was out soon after reaching a maiden ODI half-century when he was trapped in front by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.
Farhat faced 77 balls before he was bowled by Shakib Al Hasan, who then had Asad Shafiq (17) stumped for his 100th ODI wicket. Umar Amin managed 22 before he was run out, and it needed an innings of 50 in 57 balls from Umar Akmal to support Afridi and help Pakistan post a huge total.
Afridi's brutality was almost matched at the death by Kamran Akmal (23 in 16 balls) and Abdul Razzaq (21 not out in nine balls) as Shafiul Islam took three wickets but disappeared for 95 runs - only eight bowlers have conceded more in an ODI - as Bangladesh were outclassed, with the exception of Razzaq, whose ten overs went for 48.
Tamim Iqbal then thumped 34 in 27 balls as he alone came out with the sort of intent required for Bangladesh to stand a chance before he was caught by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal off of Mohammad Asif, who bore the brunt of Iqbal's attack, which included six fours.
Shoaib Akhtar kept things much tighter, going on to bowl two maidens in his first three overs as Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique spent time at the crease and built their innings slowly.
Kayes scored 66 in 111 balls with three fours while Siddique fell three runs short of a maiden century when he was caught and bowled by Akhtar having struck six fours and two sixes in 113 balls having accelerated significantly as he passed his previous career-best score of 85.
Kayes was caught by Farhat as Afridi was one of four bowlers to take a wicket and Bangladesh's innings then ended in a whimper as the new batsmen had little chance of scoring at the required run-rate and they lost three wickets during the batting Power Play.
Rahim was run out for one, Shakib Al Hasan was bowled by Farhat for 25 while Jahurul Islam and Mahmudullah were left unbeaten on 11 and nought respectively.
India play Sri Lanka in a dress rehearsal of the final tomorrow (22nd June) in the final group game.
© Cricket World 2010