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."

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