Comeback man Shahid Afridi led the way for Pakistan with an inspired show with the bat and later with the ball to guide them to a convincing 126-run victory over West Indies in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Guyana on Sunday.
Needing 225 to win the match, West Indies got off to a poor start losing their first three wickets for seven runs. Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons resurrected the innings with a steady 34-run stand fo the fourth wicket before Afridi came out to ball.
The star all-rounder ended with career-best figures of seven for 12 runs in his nine overs as the West Indian batsmen struggled against his bowling variation
Earlier, after winning the toss, West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo put the visitors to bat first. The move worked superbly for the hosts as they lost their first four wickets with only 23 on the board within the first 10 overs.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal stabilised the Pakistan innings with resilient batting. However, it was only after the arrival of the maverick Afridi at the crease that the Pakistan innings got a momentum. He blasted his way to 55-ball 76, which included five huge sixes.
However, Misbah continued batting at snail’s pace at the other end as he crawled his way to 52 in 121 deliveries.
For West Indies, the tall Jason Holder led the pack picking up four wickets for only 13 runs. Roach, who was hit for a massive six by Afridi, ended up with two wickets giving away 38 runs.
If not for Afridi’s blitz, Pakistan’s innings had little entertainment to offer. Spinners Sunil Narine and Marlon Samuels had to bear the brunt of Afridi’s assault.
Pakistan 224 for 9 in 50 overs (Shahid Afridi 76, Misbah-ul-Haq 52; Jason Holder 4 for 13) beat West Indies 98 all-out in 41 overs (Marlon Samuels 25, Darren Sammy 21*; Shahid Afridi 7 for 12) by 126 runs