Afridi leads Pakistan to easy win over Kenya
Pakistan sent out a warning to India before their Group C showdown with a seven-wicket demolition of Kenya at Edgbaston.
Pakistan sent out a warning to India before their Champions Trophy Group C showdown with a seven-wicket demolition of Kenya at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Shahid Afridi took career-best figures of five for 11 off six overs and off spinner Shoaib Malik chipped in with three wickets as Kenya were dismissed for just 94.
Yasir Hameed top-scored with 41 and Imran Farhat finished unbeaten on 38 as Pakistan reached their target in the 19th over.
The match in Birmingham, which also hosts the India-Pakistan clash on Sunday, had been rescheduled after rain washed out play on Tuesday.
"I'm not really a wicket-taking bowler, I'm trying to stop the runs but if you do that then the wickets come," man-of-the-match Afridi said.
"I was really just trying to bowl wicket to wicket and I got the results."
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to bowl after looking at the green-tinged pitch.
Kenya suffered a poor start when opener Ravindu Shah hit the second ball he faced straight to Afridi in the covers off Naved-ul-Hasan.
Kennedy Otieno and Maurice Ouma struggled to fend off short-pitched deliveries from fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar but resurrected the innings with a 65-run partnership before rain forced the players off the field for 25 minutes.
Inzamam introduced spin when play resumed, the decision immediately paying off when Ouma (23) was caught by Moin Khan from a bottom edge off Afridi's second ball.
Otieno (33) was trapped lbw by Malik, before Kenya captain Steve Tikolo, playing for spin, was deceived by a Malik delivery that faded away from the right hander and nicked the top of his off stump for a duck.
The spinning pair went on the rampage with none of the Kenyan batsman able to handle variations in pace from Afridi and sharp turn from Malik as five of the final six batsmen dismissed were bowled.
"We did very well up front with Kennedy and Maurice but lost our way in the middle," said Tikolo. "We lost too many wickets and that was our downfall.
"They bowled well and in the right areas and with the rain coming down, the wicket started skidding a little bit and I think we were put off a bit," he added.
Pakistan looked comfortable as they moved to 70 without loss in the 13th over before Hameed failed to move his feet and was caught behind off Martin Suji.
Malik and Afridi fell cheaply but Farhat and Abdul Razzaq eased Pakistan to their target.