Afridi takes Pak to top spot
21 Sep 2007
By: Zac Gelman
Pakistan did just enough to beat Bangladesh at Cape Town and secure the top spot in the Group F table after not losing a Super 8 match.
Playing for pride, Bangladesh started their innings brilliantly with Zunaid Siddique having a dream international debut with 71 runs from 49 balls. The rest of his side let him down however, with constant wickets falling to rash shots with the Aftab Ahmed's 15 the second highest score in the Bangladesh innings.
Siddique gallantry carried his side with three sixes and six fours before he was finally dismissed when he attempted to hit the ball out of the park off Malik's bowling only to find Misbah-ul-Haq waiting in the outfield.
Umar Gul stood out for the Pakistani bowlers who looked slightly dreary throughout the innings with some high class death bowling, finishing with impressive figures of 1-17.
Pakistan's reply was shaky and worlds apart from their epic victories over Sri Lanka and Australia during the week. Afridi smashed 39 off 15 deliveries in a whirlwind innings after opener Imran Nazir retired hurt in the first over as Pakistan raced to 50 without the loss of a wicket.
However some tight bowling from Bangladesh saw Pakistan slump to 6-119 with a real chance of an upset on the cards as the Bangladesh slower bowlers effectively stifled the Pakistan run rate.
Imran Nazir returned to the crease and finished the job, ending with 27 runs off 18 balls to ensure his side got over the line with a four wicket, unconvincing win.
Junaid Siddique 71
Shoaib Malik 2-15, Mohammad Hafeez 2-27
Shahid Afridi 39, Imran Nazir 27
Abdurr Razzak 2-16
Pakistan beat Bangladesh by four wickets