Akmal, spinners set  up Pakistan victory

Defending champs register convincing win over Afghanistan to earn bonus point

Fatullah: Talented wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal notched up a breezy century under pressure before the bowlers came to the party and guided Pakistan to a bonus-point 72-run victory over Afghanistan in the Asia Cup on Thursday.

Akmal, spinners set  up Pakistan victory

Chasing a challenging target of 249, Afghanistan could only manage 176 in 47.2 overs in front of the disciplined Pakistan bowling attack.Put in to bat, Pakistan rode on Akmal’s scintillating batting effort to post 248 for eight in their quota of 50 overs on a sluggish pitch at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

The young batsman smashed unbeaten 102 off 89 balls after Pakistan were reduced to 117 for six inside 30 overs.The 23-year-old, who scored 74 off 72 against Sri Lanka in the last match, clobbered three sixes and seven boundaries while helping his team recover from a precarious position.

Afghanistan, in reply, had a poor start as they lost opener Mohammad Shahzad (9) early. His partner, Noor Ali Zadran, played a few attractive shots at the other end.Zadran made 44 off 63 deliveries and hit seven boundaries, before he was trapped in front by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Asghar Stanikzai and Nawroz Mangal started the resurrection job for Afghanistan and tried to build a partnership. Though the duo put on a 74-run for the third wicket, they failed to get the spiralling asking rate down.

While Stanikzai consumed 91 deliveries for his 40, Mangal made 35 off 57 balls. Both hit three boundaries each in their 119-ball partnership.With the required rate steadily going beyond reach, Afghanistan batsman played shots and perished in pursuit of quick runs.Afghanistan lost the wickets of Stanikzai and Mangal in a space of three balls.

Pakistan
S Khan c Zadran b Hotak……………25
A Shehzad b Shenwari………………50
M Hafeez c Nabi b Ashraf…………..10
Maqsood c Stanikzai b Shenwari…13
Misbah run out………………………….0
Umar not out…………………………102
S Afridi b Zadran………………………..6
Anwar Ali c Mangal b Ashraf………21
U Gul b Zadran…………………………15
S Ajmal not out………………………….1
Extras: (lb2, wd2, nb1)………………5
Total: (For 8 wkts in 50 overs)….248
FOW: 1-55, 2-78, 3-89, 4-89, 5-108, 6-117, 7-177, 8-217.
Bowling: Zadran 9-1-42-0, Zadran 10-0-73-2, Nabi 8-0-46-0, Hotak 8-1-22-1, Ashraf 8-1-29-2, Shenwari 7-0-34-2.

Afghanistan
M Shahzad c Akmal b Gul……………9
N Zadran lbw b Ajmal……………….44
A Stanikzai c Hafeez b Afridi………40
N Mangal run out……………………..35
M Nabi lbw b Gul……………………..15
Najibullah b Hafeez…………………….1
S Shenwari b Hafeez…………………14
M Ashraf run out………………………..4
Dawlat b Ajmal………………………….0
Shapoor c Ajmal b Hafeez……………1
H Hotak not out…………………………0
Extras: (b8, w5)………………………13
Total: (All-out in 47.2 overs)……176
FOW: 1-32, 2-65, 3-139, 4-140, 5-151, 6-159, 7-172, 8-172, 9-175, 10-176
Bowling: Gul 9-0-44-2, Ali 4-0-23-0, Junaid 6-1-16-0, Afridi 10-0-31-1, Ajmal 9-1-25-2

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