Ruthless Pakistan Outclass Brave Afghanistan
Pakistan 198-3 (Younus Khan 70no) beat
Afghanistan 195 (Shahid Afridi 5-36) by 7 wickets
One-Day International, Sharjah
Shahid Afridi moved to eighth position on the all-time list of wicket-takers in One-Day International cricket as Pakistan comfortably beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in Sharjah.
The match served as Pakistan's preparation for a five-game series against England and was Afghanistan's first ODI against a Test-playing nation.
They acquitted themselves well although the gulf in class between them and a Pakistan side high on confidence and at the top of their game was clearly evident.
Afridi's five for 36 helped Pakistan dismiss Afghanistan for 195 in 48.3 overs before half-centuries from Imran Farhat (52) and Younus Khan (70 not out) eased them to victory with more than ten overs to spare.
Afridi dismissed Karim Sadiq (40), Mohammad Shahzad (20), Nawroz Mangal (11), Gulbodin Naib (7) and Mirwais Ashraf (12) to further his position among the all-time greats and put Pakistan in a strong position.
No Afghan could better Sadiq's score although Mohammad Nabi struck two sixes in his innings of 37 and Samiullah Shenwari made 32 in 68 balls to give the bowlers something to work with.
Dawlat Zadran responded by having Mohammad Hafeez bowled for eight and Asad Shafiq trapped in front for 20 and with Pakistan at 42 for two, the match was in the balance.
Farhat and Younus then steadied the ship by adding 55 for the third wicket and after Farhat's dismissal, caught and bowled by Shenwari, he and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (40 not out) steered their side to another win.
The opening ODI against England is on 13th February in Abu Dhabi.
© Cricket World 2012