Canada looked like an inspired team when they took on the field to bowl first against Pakistan at Colombo. They struck some early wickets thanks to the moisture in the pitch and Pakistan’s openers, yet again, made a tentative start and then failed. Younus Khan walked in to yet another crisis situation, but this time he couldn’t get going. Soon Akmal also fell and Pakistan were left struggling at 67-4.
Misbah and Umar Akmal steadied the ship for Pakistan and built a partnership. But Pakistan never looked convincing with the ball darting around.
They put on 73 runs before Umar Akmal fell for 46 at the end of the 35th over. After that, Pakistan crumbled and lost their last 5 wickets for just 19 runs.
Canada were chasing just 185 for a win and would’ve fancied their chances to cause yet another upset at this World Cup. But the conditions were still trying and the Pakistani seamers were right on the money.
The first 15 overs were extremely interesting and a slight bit comical. There were 3 decision reviews taken by either side and all of them, successful. The umpires seemed to be having a tough time.
Afridi brought himself on and got rid of Bagai, with another reviewed decision, to leave Canada tottering at 40-3.
But Hansra and Surkari looked like they had a plan. They moved along slowly, but surely, and put on 60 runs for the 4th wicket.
Surkari then fell to YET ANOTHER reviewed decison and from then on, Canada lost the plot.
Rizwan Cheema, Canada’s most destructive player, didn’t apply himself and played an overambitious slog sweep against Afridi, despite knowing that he was the last competitive batsman for his team and his wicket marked the end of the show for the Canadian batsmen. It, however, raised the curtains for the Shahid Afridi show. He took 4 wickets in his second spell and bowled Canada out for a 138 to provide a comfortable victory in the end after being under pressure for quite some time.