Hurricane Afridi flattens UgandaGeorge Roberts |
Pakistan and Bangladesh both completed expected victories over lower-ranked opposition on the opening day of the Twenty20 Quadrangular in Kenya as preparations for this month’s World Championships began to gain pace.
In the first game of the game at the Nairobi Gymkhana, minnows Uganda had a harsh taste of true world class opposition in the shape of a mammoth 148-run defeat to Pakistan.
Despite the early loss of opener Imran Nazir, Salman Butt shared healthy stands of 70 with Kamran Akmal and 67 with Younis Khan as Pakistan looked set for a solid total of around 180. However, once Khan had departed for a 26-ball 51, Shahid Afridi arrived at the crease and mayhem ensued. In the space of just 15 balls, Afridi smashed 3 fours and 7 sixes, taking 34 off one over from Emmanuel Isaneez and finishing unbeaten on 57 having completed a 13-ball fifty. Butt’s 55-ball 74, with only the one six, was comparatively pedestrian, but Pakistan had amassed 226-3 from their 20 overs, a total that would have been beyond even the most elite nations, let alone lowly Uganda.
Uganda’s reply, after a brief flurry of runs in the first few overs, quickly petered out into a matter of survival before scoring. Only Raymond Otim provided anything near big-hitting entertainment as he hit a pair of sixes in his unbeaten 27, providing the late impetus required to lift Uganda to a paltry 78-7. Umar Gul and Shoaib Malik each picked up a brace of wickets, while Iftikhar Anjum finished with the extraordinary Twenty20 figures of 3-2-1-1. Tougher tests await, but it was difficult to fault any aspect of this Pakistan performance.
Pakistan 226-3 (20)
Salman Butt 74* (55), Kamran Akmal 31 (23), Younis Khan 51 (26), Shahid Afridi 57* (15)
Joel Olwenyi 4-0-34-1, Davis Arinaitwe 4-0-36-1, Kenneth Kamyuka 4-0-41-1
Uganda 78-7 (20)
Lawrence Sematimba 14 (30), Joel Olwenyi 14 (11), Raymond Otim 27* (29)
Umar Gul 3-0-10-2, Shoaib Malik 4-0-17-2, Iftikhar Anjum 3-2-1-1, Mohammad Asif 3-1-16-1, Yasir Arafat 3-0-18-1
Pakistan won by 148 runs
In the afternoon encounter at the same venue, Bangladesh were pushed a little harder by Kenya, but the Tigers still faced few difficulties in chasing down a target of 139 with 14 balls to spare.
Tight opening spells from Mashrafe Mortaza and Syed Rasel limited Kenya to 35-2 from the six overs of fielding restrictions and despite a stand of 42 between Tanmay Mishra and captain Steve Tikolo, the home side never looked like posting a challenging total. The left-arm spin of Abdur Razzak, who took 2-22, pinned Kenya just when they sought to inject some momentum into the innings and Farhad Reza weighed in with a pair of wickets. Cameos from the experienced heads of Thomas Odoyo and Collins Obuya, veterans of several World Cups, eventually took Kenya to 138-7.
After losing the dangerous Tamim Iqbal early on, debutant Nazimuddin and Aftab Ahmed effectively settled the match with a brief but explosive stand of 39 from just 15 deliveries. Facing just half-a-dozen balls, Aftab lashed two of them for four and another for a maximum; once he fell for 17, captain Mohammad Ashraful joined Nazimuddin to add a run-a-ball 26 as Bangladesh closed in on their target at a sedate pace. Nazimuddin, a strokeplaying opener from Chittagong with a solid domestic record, was eventually dismissed by offspinner Jimmy Kamande for 43 and Ashraful then became Peter Ongondo’s second victim for 36, leaving Alok Kapali to complete the victory.
Kenya 138-7 (20)
David Obuya 23 (19), Tanmay Mishra 38 (41), Steve Tikolo 24 (21), Thomas Odoyo 22 (13), Collins Obuya 14* (10)
Abdur Razzak 4-0-22-2, Mashrafe Mortaza 4-0-29-2, Farhad Reza 4-0-34-2
Bangladesh 139-5 (17.4)
Tamim Iqbal 11 (12), Nazimuddin 43 (37), Aftab Ahmed 17 (6), Mohammad Ashraful 36 (20), Alok Kapali 17* (19)
Peter Ongondo 4-0-21-2, Thomas Odoyo 4-0-28-1, Jimmy Kamande 3-0-21-1, Lameck Onyango 2-0-21-1
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets