Hambantota, Feb 23: Despite an unsteady start, Pakistan dominated the Kenyan bowling for most of their innings to surge to 317/7 in 50 overs. After Kamran Akmal (55) and Younis Khan (50) did the groundwork, Misbah-ul-Haq (65) and Umar Akmal (71) kicked on forcefully to take Pakistan within sight of 300, before the latter order guided the score past the landmark. The bowling was loose and wayward as 46 extras were conceded. Thomas Odoyo was the most successful bowler with 3/41 in 7 overs. A whopping 113 runs came off the last 10 overs.
Pakistani openers Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad got off to a cautious start, just fending off the Kenyan new-ball pair of Elijah Otieno and Thomas Odoyo. The first four off the innings came when Hafeez lifted Odoyo to the square leg boundary in the 5th over. But in the next over, he was dismissed courtesy a stunning catch at midwicket by Seren Waters off the bowling off Otieno.
The other opener followed suit in the next over when Odoyo had him caught by captain Jimmy Kamade at mid off for 1 off 18 balls. Then Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan steadied the Pakistn innings, beginning by counter-attacking and hittinhg Odhiambo for three fours in the 10th over. Then Younis took 3 runs of Otieno in the 13th over to bring up Pakistan's 50.
The batting duo pressed on, picking singles and doubles in a steady routine before Pakistan crossed 100 in the 23rd over. But soon afterward, Shem Ngoche had Akmal stumped for 55 off 67 balls and Pakistan had slipped to 109/3 in 24.4 overs. Misbah-ul-Haq got off the mark, by carting Tikolo for a six and continued to pick runs rather fluently as he and Younis settled into an ominous partnership.
In the 33rd over, Misbah took a single off Ngoche to bring up Pakistan's 150, but in the next over, Younis was trapped in front by Tikolo who had him out for 50 off 67 balls. Pakistan was 154/4 in 33.4 overs. After playing himself in, Umar Akmal took a four off Tikolo and then off Kamande in successive overs and after scurrying a few more runs, he had taken his side to 200 at the end of the 39th over.
At 216/4 in 43 overs, Pakistan took their final batting powerplay. After Misbah lofted Otieno for a six, Umar clobbered Otieno for four boundaries in the 45th over, before the fast bowler compounded his side's woes by bowling a no-ball four. One single later, Pakistan had brought up their 250.
In a dramatic 47th over, Umar and Misbah teamed up to take 16 runs before Misbah was out to Kamande, for 65 off 69 balls. But Shahid Afridi wasn't going to just hang around. He hit the last ball of the last ball of the over for a four as Pakistan climbed to 277/5 in 47 overs.
Then Thomas Odoyo effected a double strike, getting rid of Umar Akmal for 71 and Afridi for 7 in successive deliveries. But some wayward bowling ensured that the Pakistani cross 300 and surge to 317/7 at the end of 50 overs.