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Afridi steers Pakistan to victory
May 19, 2007 08:41 IST
All-rounder Shahid Afridi smashed 73 off just 34 balls to lead Pakistan to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the first of three one-day internationals in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan, playing for the first time since their disappointing World Cup campaign and the mysterious death of their coach Bob Woolmer, reached their target of 236 with eight overs to spare.
Afridi shared an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 102 with wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal (51 not out) to steer his side home in the day-night game.
Sri Lanka, World Cup runners-up, made 235 for nine from their 50 overs, Farveez Maharoof top-scoring with an unbeaten 69 and Chamara Silva making 47.
Seamer Umar Gul was the most successful Pakistan bowler with figures of three for 61.
Pakistan openers Salman Butt and Imran Nazir added 53 for the first wicket before both were run out, and Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik all fell cheaply.
But Afridi was in sublime form, hitting two fours and four successive sixes in one over from Malinga Bandara to set up a comfortable victory for Pakistan in Malik's first match as captain.
Bandara's over was the second most expensive in one-day international history.
The second match in the series takes place on Saturday.