Pakistan survive Canada scare

COLOMBO (Agencies) - Captain Shahid Afridi registered his fifth five-wicket haul as Pakistan beat Canada by 46 runs in their World Cup clash at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Thursday.

Chasing 185, Canada had got off to a poor start losing their first three wickets with 44 runs on the board in 17.1 overs. Umar Gul gave Pakistan the first breakthrough when he trapped Ruvindu Gunasekera plumb in front of the wicket and in the next over, Nitish Kumar edged an Abdul Razzaq delivery onto his stumps.

Afridi then trapped his Canadian counterpart Ashish Bagai plumb in front of the wicket for the third breakthrough. Afridi went for the review immediately after umpire Daryl Harper adjudged Bagai not out and got the decision in Pakistan’s favour.

With a 60-run partnership for the fourth wicket, Surkari and Jimmy Hansra had steadied Canada before the Pakistani spinners struck in quick succession.

Saeed Ajmal trapped Surkari plumb in front of the wicket and got it in his favour after going for a review. Afridi then took four wickets in three overs to rock Canada. Afridi first clean bowled the big-hitting Rizwan Cheema with a googly.

In his next over, Afridi clean bowled Hansra and Harvir Baidwan to become the first bowler to take three consecutive four-wicket hauls in World Cup cricket. In his next over, Afridi had Tyson Gordon caught by Wahab Riaz to register his fifth five-wicket haul.

Earlier, Canada produced a spirited bowling display to restrict former champions Pakistan to 184. Pakistan found the disciplined Canada attack to hot to handle as, after opting to bat, they lost wickets at regular intervals to be finally bundled out inside the 200-run mark in 43 overs.

If not for the 73-run fifth wicket stand between Misbah-ul-Haq (37) and Umar Akmal (48), Pakistan could have folded up for a lesser total as they lost their last six wickets for just 44 runs. India-born medium-pacer Harvir Baidwan was the pick of the Canada bowlers with figures of three for 35 runs while Jimmy Hansra (2/23), Rizwan Cheema (2/33) and Balaji Rao (2/50) snared two wickets apiece to spell Pakistan’s doom.