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Afridi takes five as Pakistan wreck Bangladesh

All-rounder stars with bat and ball (24 not out & 5-23) as Pakistan survive early jitters in low-scoring first ODI

Shahid Afridi grabbed five wickets for 23 runs and then kept his cool in a batting crisis as Pakistan overcame Bangladesh by five wickets in the first one-dayer here yesterday.


Shahid Afridi (2nd left) celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Mahmudullah
yesterday. Pic/AFP


The leg-spinner ripped through the Bangladesh line-up as the hosts were bundled out for 91 after electing to bat at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium -- with seven batsmen failing to reach double figures.

Pakistan lost five wickets chasing the modest target which was eventually overhauled in the 26th over. Seamer Rubel Hossain and spinner Shakib Al Hasan claimed two wickets apiece to leave Pakistan struggling at 63-5, before Afridi took his team home with an unbeaten 24 off 23 balls.

As the runs dried up on the turning wicket, Afridi broke free with three successive fours off Shakib and then cut the same bowler for another boundary to win the game.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq made 16 not out. Afridi, who was the obvious choice for the man of the match, said he wanted to do well every time he took the field.

"I want to be consistent, that's the most important thing," the 31-year-old said. "This time I tried to bring a lot more variations in my bowling and that worked. When I went out to bat, the coach told me to play my normal attacking game," he added.

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