Afridi stars in thumping win

Shahid Afridi starred with bat and ball to set up a crushing win in the opening One-Day International against the BLACKCAPS at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

The 138 run win ended a five match losing streak against the BLACKCAPS and gives them a one-nil lead in the three match series.

Pakistan set the BLACKCAPS a target of 288 after winning the toss and electing to bat with the BLACKCAPS only managing 149 in reply.

It was a steady start to the run chase for the BLACKCAPS who put on 30 for the first wicket but the loss of Brendon McCullum for 21 sparked a collapse that saw them slump to 50 for four.

That brought captain Vettori to the crease and along with opener Aaron Redmond steadied the inning sharing a 69 run partnership for the fifth wicket before Redmond was trapped LBW for 52.

It was a workmanlike half century from Redmond who saw off the opening bowlers and helped rebuild the ruptured innings.

Vettori was the only other batman to make an impression with 38 off 41 and when was bowled by Afridi a victory was out of reach.

Nathan McCullum was trapped LBW off the very next ball for a golden duck with Jacob Oram out shortly after for nine.  Ian Butler didn’t stick around, run out for four with Tim Southee last man out for one.

Earlier, Shane Bond had opener Salman Butt and captain Younis Khan back in the hut without a run on the scoreboard as the BLACKCAPS attack looked to be in charge early on. 

The bowling attack continued to apply the pressure with Pakistan looking shaky at 75 for four but blistering half centuries from Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal helped propel Pakistan through to 287.

Aggressive all rounder Afridi hit three sixes and four boundaries on his way to 70 off only 50 balls and with that shifted the momentum in favour of Pakistan.

Akmal who was relieved of the opening duties appeared to relish the opportunity down the order with an unbeaten 67 off 43 including five fours and four sixes as Pakistan took 107 off the last ten overs.

Opener Khalid Latif was the other batsman to score a half century with a measured 64 off 112 as he anchored the innings.

Vettori was again miserly and accurate taking two for 34 with Bond picking up two for 61. 

The next match is on Friday 6th November, 3:00pm (local time), 00:00 +1d (NZ time) also at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

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