Pakistan´s Shaheen strikes to restrict Afghanistan in World Cup clash

Aliha Ejaz

Shaheen had impressive bowling figures of 4-47 off 10 overs. Photo: AFP

BIRMINGHAM:Teenage paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets as Pakistan limited Afghanistan to 227 for nine in their World Cup match in Headingley on Saturday.

The lanky left-armer followed up his 3-28 in the win over New Zealand with impressive figures of 4-47 off 10 overs, helping keep the Afghan batsmen in check.

Shaheen struck twice in successive balls, dismissing captain Gulbadin Naib (15) before accounting for Hashmatullah Shahidi with his next ball to leave Afghanistan tottering at 27-2.

The score became 57-3 when left-arm spinner Imad Wasim had Rahmat Shah caught off a miscued shot for 35.

Shah and Naib had looked untroubled after Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bat on a flat, brownish pitch but they were derailed by Shaheen´s double strike.

Asghar Afghan, controversially replaced as captain just two months before the World Cup, took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers with a rapid 35-ball 42, hitting two sixes and three fours.

He added 64 runs for the fourth wicket with Ikram Alikhil (24) as they repaired the damage but leg-spinner Shadab Khan broke the stand when he bowled the former captain in the 26th over.

Najibullah Zadran chipped in with 42 off 54 balls but Shaheen returned in his second spell to dismiss Najibullah and Rashid Khan (eight).

Paceman Wahab Riaz (2-29) and spinner Imad (2-48) also chipped in with crucial wickets.

Pakistan are on a roll at the World Cup after a disastrous start which saw them lose three of their first five matches, with one win and a no-result.

They have since beaten South Africa and New Zealand and are in contention for a semi-final place with seven points in seven games.