Afridi too much for Tigers

Pakistan all-rounder stars with ball and bat in Dhaka

By Graeme Mair - Twitter: @gmair 1.   Last Updated: 01/12/11 12:56pm

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Shahid Afridi took 5-23 and hit the winning runs as Pakistan won a low-scoring ODI series opener by five wickets against Bangladesh.

The home side crashed to 91 all out in 30.3 overs after opting to bat first at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.

Pakistan were reduced to 63-5 in reply before Afridi (24no) and Misbah-ul-Haq (16no) saw the tourists over the line for their 20th consecutive victory over the Tigers in the 50-over format.

The three-match series continues at the same venue on Saturday.

Crisis

Bangladesh had no answer to Afridi's quick leg-spinners after opting to bat first.

With the Tigers already struggling at 29-3, Afridi removed both Shahriar Nafees and Mahmudullah in his second over, the 13th of the match, to turn it into a full-scale crisis at 31-5.

Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain put together the best partnership of the innings, 36 for the sixth wicket, before a further Afridi-inspired meltdown saw Bangladesh fail to reach a collective three figures.

Hossain's 21 was the top score, while Afridi's five-wicket haul was the seventh of his 331-match ODI career.

Pakistan's run chase started serenely enough, openers Mohammad Hafeez (22) and Imran Farhat (12) sharing a 36-run stand in 9.2 overs.

Wobbled

But Farhat's exit, bowled by Nasir Hossain in his only over, was the first of four wickets to go down in 19 deliveries to leave Pakistan wobbling on 44-4.

Skipper Misbah and Umar Akmal regrouped and Pakistan were back in control at 58-4 at the interval.

Akmal was bowled by Shakib shortly after the resumption but Bangladesh missed their chance when Afridi was dropped at slip off the same bowler.

And the ex-skipper helped his successor Misbah finish off the job in the 26th over with an unbroken 30-run stand.

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