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Monday, May 30, 2011

Pakistan ‘A’ completes Afghanistan whitewash

FAISALABAD: Pakistan ‘A’ outlasted a much improved Afghanistan team to win the third and final one-day cricket match by four wickets here on Sunday, for a 3-0 whitewash of the tourists.
Noor Ali (51) guided Afghanistan to an imposing 274-9 in their 50 overs before Sarfraz Ahmed and Saad Nasim hit half-centuries to help the hosts overcome the visitors after 278-6 in 48.1 overs.
Sunday’s victory completed a rout that saw Pakistan win the first match in Islamabad by five wickets and the second at Rawalpindi by 150 runs.
Afghanistan were the first international team to tour Pakistan since March 2009 terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus, which killed eight people and injured seven touring players and their assistant coach in Lahore.
Ahmed put two match-winning partnerships of 63 for the sixth wicket with Sohail Tanvir (31) to lift Pakistan ‘A’ from a precarious 120-5 before seeing them off through an unbroken seventh wicket stand of 95 with Nasim.
Ahmed hit three boundaries during his 73-ball 53 not out and was ably supported by Nasim who hit seven boundaries during his 43-ball 50 not out.
For Afghanistan, Ali was the pick of the batsmen, holding one end intact during his sedate 72-ball innings which had six boundaries. And Karim Sadiq had a fiery 26-ball 42 not out studded with seven boundaries.
For Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 3-29.
The Pakistan Cricket Board hope their successful hosting of Afghanistan will send positive signals to top teams who have refused to tour here.
Last week Sri Lanka refused to visit Pakistan for a October-November series, citing security fears.
Abbreviated scores: Afghanistan 274-9 in 50 overs (Noor Ali 51, Karim Sadiq 42 not out, Shabir Nori 35, Mirwais Ashraf 31; Yasir Shah 3-29)
Pakistan ‘A’ 278-6 in 48.1 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 53 not out, Saad Nasim 50 not out, Sharjeel Khan 38, Babar Azam 37, Sohail Tanvir 31).
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