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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: Akmal ton takes Pak past Afghans with bonus point

PHOTOS: Akmal ton takes Pak past Afghans with bonus point

Last updated on: February 28, 2014 06:00 IST

Pakistan off to a decent start

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal scored a breezy century as Pakistan beat Afghanistan by 72 runs and picked a bonus point in the Asia Cup on Thursday.

- Scorecard

Chasing a challenging target of 249, Afghanistan could muster only 176 in 47.2 overs.

Put in to bat, Pakistan were off to a decent start. Openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad started off on a cautious start against some tight bowling by the Afghans.

Sharjeel hit the boundary boards for Pakistan in the second over off Dawlat Zardan. 

However, Sharjeel was out soon as was caught in the deep to a slog-sweep off Hamza Hotak. 

The experienced Mohammad Hafeez too threw his wicket away playing an uncharacteristic shot off Mirwais Ashraf.


Image: Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad plays a ball against Afghanistan during their Asia Cup match in Fatullah
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Spinners stifle Pakistan's batsmen

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Afghanistan spinner Samiullah Shenwari and Hamza Hotak put the brakes on the scoring after two quick wickets.  

Shenwari was particularly impressive with his leg-spin bowling as he removed a well-set Shehzad for 50.


Image: Afghanistan's fielders congratulate bowler Samiullah Shenwari (C) after he dismissed Pakistan's Sohaib Maqsood
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Misbah's run-out costs Pakistan dear

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Pakistan’s Mr. Consistent Misbah-ul-Haq was on his way back to the pavilion following a terrible mix-up with Shoaib Maqsood, with both the batsmen ending up at the same end. 

Maqsood played a delivery and called Misbah, but soon changed his mind only to have the skipper walking back the pavilion without facing a ball.


Image: Afghanistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad (L) breaks the wicket with Najibullah Zadran (R) to dismiss Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Afridi flops again

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A lot was expected of the experienced Shahid Afridi, but he failed to keep his emotions under check, played a reckless shot and was out.

Afghan skipper Mohammad Nabi brought in seamer Dawlat Zadran and the bowler did well to shatter Afridi's stumps.

 


Image: Shahid Afridi is clean bowled by Dawlat Zadran
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Akmal stands firm for a ton

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Umar Akmal and Anwar Ali then joined hands to stitch up a partnership for Pakistan to pull them out of precarious situation. 

The duo added 60 runs for seventh wicket, bringing Pakistan back in the game. 

Akmal also benefited from the fact he was dropped by Shenwari off Shapoor Zadran, when he was on 28. 

Once Ali departed after lofting Ashraf straight down Nawroz Mangal’s throat for 21, Akmal attacked the bowlers. 

The wicket-keeper batsman reached to the landmark in the final over of Pakistan's innings, hitting a massive six off Zadran.


Image: Umar Akmal celebrates after completing his century
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Afghanistan off to a poor start

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Afghanistan, chasing a stiff 249 for victory, were off to a poor start, losing Mohammad Shahzad for 9. 

Shahzad got a healthy edge off Umar Gul to give Pakistan the opening.


Image: Umar Akmal appeals for the wicket of Noor Ali
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Ajmal works his magic

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Afghanistan went into a shell after losing the first wicket. Asghar Stanikzai and Noor Ali Zadran couldn’t get the ball off the square and though they managed to put on 33 runs for second wicket, they failed to get any momentum. 

Ajmal, who was brought in as late as the 18th over, struck in his opening over, removing Noor Ali for 44. 

From there it was downhill slide for Afghanistan as they lost wickets at regular intervals without any good partnerships. 

In the end, they were bundled out for 176 in 47.2 overs.


Image: Pakistan players celebrate after dismissing a batsman
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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