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Afridi’s destructive spell bowls Pak to a big win

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Shahid Afridi’s destructive spell of fast leg breaks bowled Pakistan to a comprehensive 51-run win over Scotland at Durban. Pakistan had put on a tentative batting show but managed to put up 171 on the board which was too much for the Scots once their backbone was broken by Shahid Afridi. Pakistan didn’t have a great day in the office but were certainly strong in the bowling front with Umar Gul also chipping in with four wickets.

Having been asked to bat first by Ryan Watson, Pakistan got off to a terrible start struggling against swing and seam. John Blain and Dewald Nel bowled outstanding spells with the former removing both Imran Nazir and Salman Butt cheaply to have Pak at 24 for 2 in 5 overs. Salman Butt struggled a lot as he got just 13 facing 23 balls. Dewald Nel who had bowled two overs with the new ball had even bowled a maiden. It was a brief partnership between Hafeez (18 from 11) and Younis Khan that took Pakistan forward. But wickets kept on falling for Pakistan through some soft dismissals. It was Shahid Afridi who gave the real momentum for Pak with his cameo of 22 from 7 with one four and two sixes. The first six from Afridi was as long as 99 mts. Younis Khan couldn’t go onto bat till the end as he got caught in the deep after making 41 in 29 with 3 fours and two sixes. Misbah-u-Haq was the next highest scorer of the innings with 23 from 16 as Pakistan reached 171 but lost 9 wickets in the process. The finishing touches were provided by Kamran Akmal (16 from 10 including a six over covers) and Yasir Arafat (17 from 8). John Blain and Dewald Nel, the opening bowlers stood out with figures of 2 for 23 and 2 for 25 in their respective four overs. Craig Wright was another impressive performer with 3 for 29 in his 4.

Scotland were in with a chance chasing 171 especially with the opening batsman Fraser Watts striking the ball cleanly. Umar Gul had taken the first two wickets to fall but it was really Afridi who did a lot of damage. In just his first over, he got two wickets. When Watts was taken at short third man off Hafeez, the match was as good as over for Scotland at 59 for 5 in the 9th. Watts had got 46 out of those runs facing 35 balls and striking 9 fours. Afridi went onto take another two wickets in his next spell to finish at 4-0-19-4 which later fetched him the Man of the Match award. Umar Gul also ended up with four wickets (4 for 25 in 4 overs) as he added up two wickets in two consecutive deliveries in his second spell but failed to get a hat-trick. Scotland were bowled out for 120 with one ball remaining in their innings.

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