Home > Match report >

Pakistan secure bonus point in 72-run win over Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2014

Afghanistan showed some spark early on but fell apart in the chase of 249 © AFP
Afghanistan showed some spark early on but fell apart in the chase of 249 © AFP

By Abhijit Banare

 

Feb 27, 2014

Pakistan registered a 72-run victory over Afghanistan in the third match of the Asia Cup 2014 at Fatullah on Thursday. Chasing a target of 249, the Afghan batting collapsed after a cautious approach from in the middle. Pakistan spinners did the trick by annihilating the batsmen until the batting fell apart. By virtue of this big win, Pakistan have secured a bonus point and have raced to the top of the points table. But Pakistan will have to thank Umar Akmal for keeping their hopes alive as a top-order collapse left them at a precarious position.

Afghanistan would do well taking some lessons from some players who special in run-chases. There was hardly any calculated risk or effort to keep the scoreboard moving with the singles and twos.

The only hope for Afghanistan was in the presence opener Mohammad Shahzad. He started off the run-chase with a bang flicking the pitched up delivery by Umar Gul for a boundary. The quest for 249 continued on the right note, with fellow opener Noor Ali Zadran too not holding back to go after the wayward deliveries. At the same time, Zadran was accurate in his drives hitting them with perfect timing right through the gaps. They had raced up to 32 in five overs. There was a hint of concern on Misbah’s face but Gul struck at the right moment getting a feather edge of Shahzad’s bat. In hindsight it was a crucial breakthrough as the batsmen to follow hardly managed to keep control of the required rate. While Noor Ali kept going at a steady rate, Asghar Stanikzai failed to find his zone struggling to even get off the mark. It took him 11 balls to find the first run. His rusty run continued.

Misbah again held back Saeed Ajmal but introduced Shahid Afridi early. But it was Ajmal who gave the breakthrough as Noor Ali who did most of the scoring struggled against Ajmal and was eventually out leg-before for 44.

Since then it was just a task of spinning the web around the batsmen and the Afghan duo of Navroz Mangal and Stanikzai further assisted Afridi and Ajmal. The two spinners kept using their variations smartly. Due to their inexperience they failed to milk the quality spinners for singles and twos. Instead they tried to go hard at them and only ended up hitting towards the fielders.

The pressure kept on piling up and went beyond six and surged beyond seven by the time, Ajmal and Afridi were taken off. The duo completed a fifty run partnership but the poor strike rate was glaring. It was just a matter of time that one of them would blink. They took their chances against the pacers and eventually Stanikzai fell for Afridi for a 91-ball 40. He was the main culprit in pulling down the chase as the others were forced to chase at a quick pace. The batting fell apart eventually as Mangal was involved in a miscommunication with skipper Mohammad Nabi and was run-out for 37.

Soon the 249 runs were out of sight and Afghanistan fought hard to avoid conceding a bonus point. Even the other batsmen were hopping around against Saeed Ajmal.

It turned out to be a tame end to a match which started off with great promise. And the excitement further went up when the Afghan side had the opposition down to 117 for six. But the talented batsman who was criticised for failing to make good use of it came to their rescue. Umar Akmal after being dropped on 28 played some exquisite shots and took on the inexperience of the Afghan bowling to score his second ODI century. His innings put Pakistan in control as 248 was always going to be a challenging total. And eventually it turned out to be true as Afghanistan

Pakistan’s next match is a mouth-watering clash against India on March 2, while Afghanistan face Bangladesh on March 1.

Man of the Match: Umar Akmal

Brief scores:

Pakistan 248 for 8 in 50 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 50, Umar Akmal 102*; Samiullah Shenwari 2 for 34)  beat Afghanistan 176 in 47.2 overs (Noor Ali Zadran 44, Asghar Stanikzai 40; Umar Gul 2 for 44, Mohammad Hafeez 3 for 29) by 72 runs.

Full Scorecard

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Australia Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: Sheldon Cottrell ready for return

Phil Hughes’ injury asks for review of safety factor in cricket equipment, feels Jagmohan Dalmiya

Shikha Pandey shines in India Women’s win over South Africa

Phil Hughes would have felt the impact like a bullet, say experts

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali gets maiden ODI ton

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here