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Afridi guides Pakistan to World T20 title

June 21, 2009 23:50 IST

Afridi guides Pakistan to World T20 title

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Pakistan once again rose to the occasion in style when they outplayed Sri Lanka by eight wickets to win the ICC World Twenty20 at Lord's in London, on Sunday.

Runners-up to India in the last edition, Pakistan made sure there were no dramas this time as they chased down 139 for two with eight deliveries to spare. Their convincing display with the bat was set up by an unbeaten half-century from Shahid Afridi, who scored a contrasting 54 from 40 deliveries, inclusive of two boundaries and two sixes.


Image: Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi celebrate the wicket of Jehan Mubarak
Photographs: Reuters
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Sri Lanka won the toss and had no hesitation in electing to bat first with both teams going in unchanged from their semi-final victories.

Captain Kumar Sangakkara got Sri Lanka going with a couple of boundaries in the third over by Mohammad Aamer. Jayasuriya then lofted Razzaq for a six over midwicket and followed the next ball with a boundary through fine leg. But the bowler had the last laugh when he got the big wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya for 17 from 10 deliveries. The left-hander tried to pull Razzaq but could only drag it on to his stumps to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 26 for three in the fourth over.


Image: Abdul Razzaq celebrates the wicket of Sanath Jayasuriya

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Afridi guides Pakistan to World T20 title

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Sri Lanka were reduced to 70 for six before captain Kumara Sangakkara launched the rescue effort with unbeaten 64 from 52 deliveries, inclusive of seven boundaries.

He was involved in an unbroken stand of 68 for the seventh wicket off 44 deliveries with Angelo Mathews, who stroked a vital 35 off 24 deliveries, with three fours and six.


Image: Kumara Sangakkara was the lone warrior for Sri Lanka

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Pakistan got off to a confident start when Kamran Akmal cracked Mathews through the covers for a boundary in the first over of the innings. A few quiet overs followed before Shahzaib Hasan and Akmal hit a boundary each off Udana to take Pakistan to 26 after just four overs.

Image: Kamran Akmal played a wonderful innings of 37 off 28 balls

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Afridi guides Pakistan to World T20 title

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Afridi was playing quite cautiously from the start of his innings, reaching 17 off 19 deliveries. With a few quiet overs, the Pakistan right-hander decided it was time to break the shackles as he launched Muttiah Muralitharan for a six and boundary off consecutive deliveries in the 14th over of the innings.

Pakistan enjoyed a slight edge as the final quarter of the game approached, having reached 103 for three after 15 overs, needing another 36 runs off the last five overs.


Image: Shahid Afridi hits a huge six off Muttiah Muralitharan

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Shoaib Malik got his first boundary off the 21st delivery he faced when he glided one through fine leg. Fittingly, Afridi got the winning runs from a leg bye off Lasith Malinga.

Afridi, who finished unbeaten on 54 from 40 deliveries and also took one wicket, was named the man of the match. Dilshan failed in this match, but his tournament returns of 317 from seven matches at 52.83 with three half-centuries was named the man of the tournament.


Image: Shahid Afridi celebrates after hitting the winning runs
Photographs: Reuters
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