Awesome Afridi destroys Windies by 126 runs

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Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi made the ultimate triumphant return on Sunday, essentially single-handedly beating the West Indies by 126 runs in Providence by bagging a fifty and a five-fer is spectacular style.

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi made the ultimate triumphant return on Sunday, essentially single-handedly beating the West Indies by 126 runs in Providence by bagging a fifty and a five-fer is spectacular style.

Pakistan reached 224 for nine in their 50 overs, with Afridi returning to the side with a blistering 76 off 55 balls. Skipper Misbah was far more sedate, but his 52 off 121 balls. 'Boom Boom' then recorded his best match figures in 355 ODIs by taking seven for 12 in nine overs.

The Windies won the toss and chose to bowl first, after a short rain delay, and Jason Holder, in the side for Tino Best, soon proved his worth. He took the first four wickets to fall in quick succession, leaving Pakistan reeling on 23 for four.

The rain arrived again, as it had before the game, and they trooped off the field for half an hour, meaning the overs were not reduced. Afridi came in and recorded his fifty off just 36 balls, bashing the bowlers around the park.

He struck six fours and five sixes in his innings, showing why the selectors had brought him back in from the cold after being dropped for the Champions Trophy. Misbah was his usual snail-like self, until he fell in the 48th over to Dwayne Bravo, the score on 200.

The final few runs were scored by Saeed Ajmal, who ended on 15 not out, and Mohammad Irfan, with the big fast bowler hitting a four off the final ball of the knock to make it a defendable total.

In the end, the score was more than enough by a long way, as the Windies were all back in the hut for 98. Mohammad Irfan started the collapse from ball two, bowling Johnson Charles with a yorker for a duck.

Irfan then bagged his second by getting rid of Darren Bravo with the score on seven, but from there on out it was the Afridi Show. Before this game, he had gone 53 overs, across six ODIs without taking a wicket.

He broke the drought with two wickets in two balls, removing Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Bravo, before adding Keiron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Kemar Roach to the column to record his five-fer. This left the Windies on 55 for eight.

There was a delay of the inevitable as Sunil Narine and Darren Sammy pushed the score into the 90s, but Afridi was brought back on and instantly removed the final two wickets in the same over to end the match with nine overs to spare.

The second ODI is at the same ground in Guyana, on Tuesday.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine, Jason Holder

Pakistan: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Asad Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan

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