ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Canada v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo

Afridi's five seals Pakistan victory

The Report by Sahil Dutta

March 3, 2011

Comments: 140 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 184 (Umar 48, Misbah 37, Baidwan 3-35) beat Canada 138 (Hansra 43, Afridi 5-23) by 46 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shahid Afridi celebrates the wicket of Ashish Bagai, Canada v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 3, 2011
Shahid Afridi now has 14 wickets after leading his team to victory with 5 for 23 © AFP

Where Ireland went, Canada could not follow as their dreams of a World Cup fairytale were blown away by Shahid Afridi. For three-quarters of the game Canada had hustled Pakistan into a corner, only for Afridi to lash out with five wickets to seal Pakistan's qualification to the quarter finals.

While Afridi's speculative batting may long since have gone bust, his bowling has grown into a model of menacing consistency which has placed him well in front as the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 14 scalps from three games.

Chasing a modest 184 after a lethargic Pakistan batting effort, Canada had scrapped hard to reach 104 for 3 with 17 overs remaining. Even in conditions that had been refreshingly inviting for bowlers, it was an equation within Canada's reach, but Pakistan's jack-in-the-box captain sprung to life to wipe out the lower and middle order.

It was Saeed Ajmal, back in the side in place of Abdur Rehman, who started the collapse when he dismissed the obdurate Zubin Surkari lbw. The appeal was initially denied by umpire Daryl Harper, but the much-maligned DRS proved the bowler right. It was one of a number of decisions that Harper had to reverse as, in a single innings, the merits of umpire technology were given a perfect advertisement.

Surkari's dismissal brought the destructive Rizwan Cheema to the crease and with the target still in sight it seemed scripted that Cheema would bash his adopted country to glory against the land of his birth, but after starting with a bang over midwicket he ended with a whimper - missing an Afridi googly to lose his off bail.

Smart stats

  • Shahid Afridi has become the first bowler to take three four-wicket hauls in a single World Cup. He is also the fourth bowler to take two five-fors in one World Cup.
  • The two best bowling performances by a Pakistan player in World Cups belong to Afridi, and they've come within ten days of each other.
  • Afridi is the leading wicket-taker in this World Cup with 14, and needs only four more to equal the record for most wickets by a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup: Wasim Akram took 18 in 1992.
  • It is only the ninth instance of a bowler taking at least four wickets in three consecutive ODI innings. Waqar Younis achieved this feat on three separate occasions.
  • Canada's 15-over scores in their three matches have been the three lowest among all teams in this tournament - they scored 35 for 3 against Zimbabwe, 36 for 3 against Sri Lanka, and 40 for 2 today against Pakistan.

Afridi's next over all but sealed the match with a slider rushing through Jimmy Hansra's defences. Hansra had played with the sort of calculated daring that underpinned Ireland's success in Bangalore but could not last long enough. Afridi was aloft in celebration a ball later when he bowled Harvir Baidwan to set up a hat-trick delivery. Though he didn't get it, he sealed his five-wicket haul when Wahab Riaz held a Tyson Gordon skier.

As if to emphasise his hold on the occasion Afridi even managed to conjure another scalp after finishing his bowling stint, hitting direct from mid-on to catch the wheezing Balaji Rao short. It meant Pakistan finished a game with all the zest that was missing from a forgettable batting display.

Were it not for a stodgy 73-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal, Pakistan may well have joined England on the receiving end of a World Cup shock. Before they came together Pakistan were rocking at 67 for 4 and lost five wickets for 44 after their stand was broken. Misbah was as calm as ever and nursed his more volatile partner through an organised, pragmatic and thoroughly un-Pakistani partnership.

Either side of that pair it was a overconfident display as the batsmen lacked the intensity to buckle down and keep the scoreboard moving in the face of an energetic Canada effort. Using the heavy atmosphere and sporting pitch, all the Canadian bowlers caused trouble but it was the contrasting aggression of seamer Baidwan and rotund legspinner Rao who starred, constantly prodding and probing the Pakistan batsmen who were unable to raise their games.

It left Canada dreaming at the half-way stage, but Afridi intervened when his team needed him most.

Match Timeline

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 140 
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Posted by Sheraz on (March 6, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

Well Well Well .. Pakistan is still the top team on Points Table. :)

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 6, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

Best of luck Mr.Afridi for the next matches

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 19:26 GMT)

Well the real battles are to come yet..and the current team's form clears that they can compete decently with any team.Senior players like Afridi,Hafeez,Youins,Misbah they are leading team responsibly.Hope so they will continue this spirit throughout the tournament.. Best of luck Mr. Afridi

Posted by Atul on (March 5, 2011, 16:23 GMT)

@Passion_4_Cricket - woew, it's some kind mathematical comparison. "ind tied against Eng; and Eng loosing Ireland; whereas Pak defend agnst Can"!! Most hilarious. but sorry, this is cricket and where sch maths dont work. U mite find me othr comments regdg Side and B mismatches in this WC. It wud b intersting to hav u back on this forum once Pak start playin knockout matches where there wil b no more minnows playin agnst them. :)

Posted by Ums on (March 5, 2011, 16:22 GMT)

Pakistan must play 50 overs, regardless of conditions and top order must improve on their career averages. Hafeez average is 22 which should be over 35. Shehzad is new but he has not scored anything significant other than 100 against NZ.

Posted by Atul on (March 5, 2011, 16:14 GMT)

@FaisalAsghar - u have a good analysis abt match but wat i'm tryin 2 say in simple words, pls compare the imbalance between Side A and B matches. I feel sorry that most of the teams( like pak) in Side A will reach so easily in QF without any real fights that whenever they wil face side B team they wil b exposed and wil b vulnerable to loose to a strong and tested opponent! if it's diffcult to understand this, time will how wat i'm tryin to say. Enjoy until it lasts ( until QFs begin). :)

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 11:18 GMT)

Nice Game.. But Canada made Pak to think of Ireland-Pak Upset in WC'07. Holding nerves is the key.. Its evident that Pak play with bowlers & India Play with Batsmen. Imagine a side with Indian Batsmen & Pak Bowlers.. They can smash any team.. One cant say anything about the cricket untill the last ball is delivered, Really enjoying this world cup..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 10:26 GMT)

The 92 Cornered Tigers led by Imran Khan weren't the strongest squad, they weren't technically the best squad, but as well as great captaincy from a strong leader, Imran added innovation and an element of surprise. Moving himself to bat at number three worked a treat, throwing the ball to Ijaz Ahmed from time to time, bringing on Mushtaq Ahmed when the opposition didn't expect it were just a few of the ideas that Imran brought to the table.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 5, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

boom boom afridi

cricket we love u

Posted by Moha on (March 5, 2011, 5:15 GMT)

@Down_Under: Wow; All the captains know about the rule of cricket OR they at lease have the courage to accept the rules except Indian captain. I don't need to know this 2.5 m rule because I am not a captain of any cricket team. All the test playing teams are favor of UDRS and they know the rules and they also have the brain to use it. People who are lazy to read the rules and no intelligent to compared the accuracy of the UDRS can only complain (UDRS has decreased the umpiring errors period!! . I don't need any other proof and I would like to jump to sea with 98% life jacket than nothing. I will have 98% chance to survive ). I am also not favor of 2.5m rule which should handle by ICC. ICC preseident is Indian too (He may not know this rule too lol!!!. Why don't you complaint to him and change this stupid rule).

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Sahil Dutta Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.
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