Bangladesh v Pakistan, Group A, St Lucia May 1, 2010

Butt shows why he's Afridi's main man

Cricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, told Salman Butt he was his "main guy" before the opener produced a Man-of-the-Match performance in the 21-run victory over Bangladesh. Butt and Kamran Akmal, who both posted 73, started the contest with a partnership of 142, but it was Butt's smooth display that stood out.

He employed more traditional shots during his 46-ball stay and collected eight fours and two sixes to set up the total of 172 for 3. The effort impressed Afridi, who had been watching Butt closely since a pre-tournament camp in Pakistan.

"I thought maybe he was going to the West Indies with me but I don't think he will get a chance," Afridi said. "But when I saw him he was batting very well, especially in the first six overs. I told Salman Butt: 'You are my main guy.'

"He was playing proper shots as well. In the six overs, you don't need two [Sanath] Jayasuriyas, two [Virender] Sehwags or two Afridis."

After six overs against Bangladesh Butt was 15 off 10 balls and he maintained a high tempo as the team's score proved to be too big for their opponents. Both sides now look to their final group games against Australia.

Pakistan, the defending champions, face Michael Clarke's team in St Lucia on Sunday and Afridi said they were in the right mood following their opening success. "The guys here are feeling good and are very united," he said. "These guys here are my big players."

Bangladesh will run into Australia in Barbados on Wednesday and must win to have any chance of reaching the second round. "Pakistan have a very important game [on Sunday] and mathematically there's still a possibility [that Bangladesh can qualify]," he said. "In Barbados there will be bounce and carry. We would have loved to have played Australia here."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    I really hate when afridi c0mpares himself with sehwag & jayasurya.... he just needs t0 l00k at his average & c0unt h0w many times he had d0ne the j0b for his team. There is vast difference between c0nsistency level of th0se tw0 batsmans (sehwag & jayasurya) & Afridi..

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    Afridi Doesnt Needs to be that good JARR30... Because even the half of Afridi is better than VIRENDAR SEHWAG & JAYASURIYA ! , Kanpur ODI , Cheenai Test match... WOrld T20 Final...Looks like ur memory is a bit weak

  • A on May 2, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    Afridi say "In the six overs, you don't need two [Sanath] Jayasuriyas, two [Virender] Sehwags or two Afridis." ..That's funny.He is trying to compare himself with the likes of J'surya & Sehwag...Afridi is not even half as good as the other 2. I will be happy if Afridi plays more that 5 overs in any format.

  • Dev on May 2, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    I think we getting a bit carried away with Salman butt are we?no doubt the guy played gem of a innings and played proper cricketing shots throughout but we bangladesh had like 4 left arm spinners with the ball spinning into him,which i think is a touch easier than a ball spinning away. I think good pace will test him nevertheless and i still think pakistan were about 20 runs short

  • No featured comments at the moment.