1st ODI (N), Abu Dhabi, May 18 2007, Warid Cricket Series
(42/50 ov, target 236)239/5
Pakistan won by 5 wickets (with 48 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
73* (34)

The Pakistan team are on the field and ecstatic. They had a miserable World Cup on the field and had to face the shattering news of coach Bob Woolmer's death as well. They did well in the field, though they ended up conceding a bit too many in the final overs, but had enough ammunition with the bat while chasing. There were many blunders, especially with the run-outs, but Shahid Afridi and Akmal sealed the issue with an emphatic partnership. Afridi in such a mood can be one of the most dangerous sights in cricket while Akmal showed his maturity when faced with a mini-crisis.

Shoaib Malik's first game as captain was a memorable one. Sri Lanka, runners up in the recent World Cup, tried hard but were hit by a cyclone called Afridi towards the latter stages. Malinga Bandara will remember this game for long, one where he was smashed for 32 runs in an over, and Sri Lanka had no answers to Afridi's pyrotechniques. So Pakistan take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Join us for the second game on Sunday. Hope you enjoyed the coverage and I'm Siddhartha Vaidyanathan signing off for the day. Good night and good luck

Maharoof to Kamran, (no ball) FOUR runs

What a way to finish. Short ball and Akmal dismisses it with disdain, stands tall and clatters an imperious pull through midwicket for a four. It brings up his fifty and ends the match in style. Akmal and Afridi embrace each other in whoops of delight and are soon mobbed by spectators who invade the ground

end of over 429 runs
PAK: 234/5CRR: 5.57 RRR: 0.25
Shahid Afridi73 (34)
Kamran Akmal47 (50)
Lasith Malinga 9-1-53-0
Farveez Maharoof 8-1-42-1
Malinga to Afridi, no run

short ball again, Afridi gives himself room and decides to have some fun with his defence. Stands there, like an emperor in his land, and pats it tamely to gully. A short ball is supposed to intimidate, here is seems to be a lark

Malinga to Kamran, 1 run

short one and pulled away to square leg for a single. Crisply done

Malinga to Afridi, 1 run

clubbed a full one through extra cover for a single

Malinga to Afridi, 1 wide

down the leg side, Afridi moves across and tries to flick it away past the keeper but he can't get to it. It's too wide

Malinga to Afridi, FOUR runs

Now the umpire needs to take cover. Backs away and sees the short of a length ball, forehand top-spin down the ground that time and it judders down the ground for another four. Boom, boom all the way

Malinga to Kamran, 1 run

finds the gap through cover and dabs a full ball for a single in that region

Malinga to Afridi, 1 run

slower ball and Afridi manages to read that one, driven well down the ground

end of over 418 runs
PAK: 225/5CRR: 5.48 RRR: 1.22
Shahid Afridi67 (30)
Kamran Akmal45 (48)
Farveez Maharoof 8-1-42-1
Lasith Malinga 8-1-44-0
Maharoof to Afridi, 1 run

short arm pull, crisply struck but there's a sweeper there and they're kept down to one

Maharoof to Afridi, FOUR runs

Pulped that one, clubbed a full-length ball down the ground and Maharoof does well to get out of the way. That could have injured him. The ball screams away to the straight boundary and almost takes the cameraman along the way. More boom, boom

Maharoof to Afridi, 2 runs

dropped, that would have been a sensational catch but he grassed it while falling over. Afridi slaps a short one over cover, can't get the timing and it soars towards extra cover. Amarasingle dives full length, gets his hands around it but fluffs it while his arms hits the ground

Maharoof to Afridi, no run

short ball, he ducks under it. Good testing ball

Maharoof to Afridi, no run

slower ball, well disguised, Afridi backs away but is fooled, doesn't miss the stumps by much

Change of ball now. Surely Afridi's bat has done some damage. The question is: does it even matter now

Maharoof to Kamran, 1 run

Turned away to deep square leg for a single

Afridi went from 25 off 17 balls to 57 off 23. Now that's the way you bring up your fifty.