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Afridi Inspires Pakistan To Thumping Victory

Umar Akmal hits out during Pakistan's innings
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 224-9 (Shahid Afridi 76) beat
West Indies 98 (Afridi 7-12) by 126 runs
First One-Day International, Guyana

Shahid Afridi celebrated his recall to Pakistan's side, as well as his 350th One-Day International appearance for them, by scoring a half-century and taking record figures of seven for 12 to wrap up a 126-run win in Guyana.

Pakistan overcame a dreadful start and thanks to both Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq passing 50 were able to post 224 for nine despite Jason Holder's haul of four for 13 in 10 overs.

Then, the West Indies were dismissed for just 98 as Afridi returned the best figures in an ODI by a Pakistani and the second best ODI return of all time, second only to Chaminda Vaas's eight for 19.

Mohammad Irfan (2-17) was the only other bowler to strike as the home side slumped to the eighth lowest total in their history.

Chris Gayle, like Afridi, was also celebrating a milestone on the occasion of his 250th ODI but he managed just one run before he was run out by Misbah as West Indies' run chase got off to a terrible start.

After seeing Pakistan slip to 47 for five and recover, they fell to 41 for five but there was to be no way back as Afridi's leg breaks tore through the middle and lower order.

Once Irfan had bowled Johnson Charles for a golden duck and had Darren Bravo (5) caught by Umar Akmal, Afridi turned in a virtuoso show to end a run of six ODIs without a wicket.

He first had Lendl Simmons stumped for 10, following that up one ball later by trapping Dwayne Bravo in front for a golden duck. Kieron Pollard was caught by Wahab Riaz for three and Marlon Samuels, who would top score with 25 in 75 balls, was next to go when he was also trapped in front to leave the West Indies at 51 for seven.

There was the inevitable rally from Darren Sammy, who ended unbeaten on 21 in 43 deliveries, but even he could not rescue his side from this predicament.

Afridi picked up wickets five, six and seven by removing Kemar Roach (1), Sunil Narine (14) and Holder (0) to cap a wonderful individual performance and a stunning win for his side.

They had earlier produced a gutsy recovery just to stay in the game, led by Misbah (52 in 121 balls) and Afridi (76 in 55).

Holder made short work of the top order by bowling Nasir Jamshed (6), Ahmed Shehzad (5) and Mohammad Hafeez (1) as well as having Asad Shafiq caught behind without scoring.

Misbah, though, stood firm, hitting just one boundary in his innings, first rebuilding alongside Akmal, who made 19, and then holding up one end as Afridi blasted six fours and five sixes at the other during a 120-run stand for the sixth wicket that swung the game back towards Pakistan.

After Afridi and Misbah departed to Pollard and Dwayne Bravo respectively, further runs were added by Wahab (7), Saeed Ajmal (15), Asad Ali (11 not out) and Irfan (4 not out) to take Pakistan past the 200-run mark.

In the end, they had more than enough runs to play with and in this form, Afridi might have still won the game with the ball had they failed to break 150 or less.

© Cricket World 2013