Colombo, March 3: Pakistan's batting may have been below-par in their World Cup tie against Canada, but their bowling trumped that of the minnows. The Mapleleafs were skittled out for 138 in 42.5 overs as Pakistan managed to sneak home by 46 runs. Shahid Afiri once again proved that he is a force to reckon with by bowling his heart out and finishing with figures of 5/23. As has been the trend throughout this World Cup so far, the Canadian batting was lacklustre as middle order bat Jimmy Hansra put on a lone fight with 43.
Chasing Pakistan's paltry 184 all out in 43 overs, Canada appeared to got off to a steadier start than their previous outings this World Cup. But paceman Umar Gul trapped Ruvindu Gunasekara in front as the score read 16/1 at the end of the fourth over. On the same score, Nitish Kumar was bowled by Abdul Razzaq for 2.
Then captain Ashish Bagai and Zubin Surkari put on something of a partnership, before the former was removed by Shahid Afridi through an lbw for 16 and Canada were 44/3 in 17.1 overs. Then Surkari and Jimmy Hansra took their side to over 50 in the 20th over. In the 23rd over, they each knocked a four off Wahab Riaz as the score moved onto to 65/2.
Having consolidated admirably well, Hansra carted Mohammad Haffees for a maximum to bring up Canada's 100 in the 32nd over. At that juncture, the batting side appeareed to be in a strong position, needing 81 more runs from 17 overs with 7 wickets in hand. But then Saeed Ajaml got Surkari out lbw for 27 and Canada was looking vulnerable again at 104/4 in 33.4 overs.
Shahid Afridi added to their woes with some timely breathroughs. At the end of the 35th over, he bowled big-hitter Rizwan Cheema for 4 as the Canadians slumped to 111/5 in 35 overs. Then in the 37th over, he was on a hat-trick when he cleaned up Jimmy Hansra for 43 and did the same to Harvir Baidwan for a duck.
In the 39th over, Afridi returned to dismiss T G Gordon for 9. A short while later, a chubby Balaji Rao was run out and Riaz wrapped up the Canadian innings for 138 when he bowled Henry Osinde for a duck. Canada had lost the match by 46 runs, handing Pakistan their third successive victory in the tournament (watch video).