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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Thursday, 3 March 2011

Cricket World Cup: Pakistan survive scare from Canada

World Cup Group A, Colombo
Pakistan 184 (43 overs) bt Canada 138 (42.5 overs) by 46 runs
Match scorecard

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi celebrates

Pakistan survive Canada scare

By Jamie Lillywhite

Shahid Afridi took his wicket tally in the 2011 World Cup to 14 as Pakistan saw off a spirited Canada by 46 runs.

Pakistan were skittled out for 184 after 43 overs, indebted to a stand of 73 from Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal.

Umar fired four fours and a six in his 48 but swing bowler Harvir Baidwan took 3-35 as the final four Pakistan wickets fell for three runs in 14 deliveries.

Jimmy Hansra made a valiant 43 but Afridi struck twice in two balls and snared 5-23 as Canada were 138 all out.

The day after England's shock defeat against Ireland, Pakistan, who were beaten by the Irish themselves at the 2007 World Cup, needed a superb performance from their skipper to avert a similar embarrassment.

Resting paceman Shoaib Akhtar and without injured spinner Abdur Rehman they opted to bat first in cloudy conditions but Baidwan caused problems after coming into the attack as second change, claiming two wickets in his first three overs, including the prize scalp of Younus Khan.

Younus, who scored half centuries in Pakistan's previous victories over Kenya and Sri Lanka, played across one and was lbw for six.

We did not have good shot selection and I think it's a very good wake-up call for us for the next game

Shahid Afridi

A rescue operation was needed and after Umar drove his first ball sweetly for four, there was a period of consolidation with six overs elapsing without a boundary.

Umar slog-swept Balaji Rao for six but the burly spinner broke the partnership as a defensive prod by Umar saw him adjudged lbw, while four overs later, Misbah, who took 60 balls to hit his first boundary, nudged a wide delivery to the wicketkeeper for 37.

Five umpiring decisions were proved incorrect after referral in the Canadian innings, four by Daryl Harper and one by Nigel Llong.

After two wickets fell for no runs in six deliveries, umpire Harper, who had inexplicably given Ruvindu Gunasekera not out when the ball was arrowing in to middle stump on a full length, was involved in another moment of controversy.

The Australian deemed that Ashish Bagai was lbw to Umar Gul on the back foot when replays projected the ball passing comfortably over the stumps.

Pakistan fielders pointed out to the officials that the batsmen had sought advice from the balcony before deciding to ask for a review - both against the rules and surprising as it appeared obvious that the decision should be queried.

A referral can be quashed under such an infringement but the umpires deemed that a stern warning was sufficient.

Umar Akmal
Umar briefly gave the Pakistan innings life with four fours and a six in his 48

Bagai put on a painstaking 28 in more than 12 overs with Zubin Surkari before he was given out lbw to Afridi after a review following umpire Harper's initial rejection.

Surkari was reprieved when a review showed the ball would have clipped leg-stump so umpire Harper's not out verdict stood, but in Saeed Ajmal's next over, Pakistan risked their final review and the official's rejection of the lbw appeal was proved incorrect.

Rizwan Cheema fell to an ugly swipe at Afridi in the next over as the spinners began to exert pressure and the Canadians were reduced to 111-5.

The captain's next over all but ended Canada's hopes, with Hansra - who had batted for almost 20 overs - undone by one that nipped back and Baidwan still playing his defensive shot when a fearsome quicker ball had already shattered his stumps.

Afridi, who moved six clear as the tournament's leading wicket-taker, became the first man in World Cup history to take four or more wickets in three consecutive matches.

Even after completing his spell his inspiration continued when he dismissed Rao with a stunning direct hit from mid-off, the big Chennai-born Canadian resembling an old steam puffer as he jogged forlornly against the throw and was run out by three yards.

Wahab Riaz thudded a delivery into the middle stump to complete a fine comeback from Pakistan, who head into Tuesday's match against New Zealand with their 100% record still intact.

Unsurprisingly Afridi was named Man-of-the-Match but warned improvements needed to be made against the Kiwis. "We did not have good shot selection and I think it's a very good wake-up call for us for the next game," he said.

"Myself and coach Waqar Younis will definitely talk to the boys and this will not happen again. We needed some partnerships and that's what we were missing and that's what the coach was saying. Partnerships are very important."

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see also
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