Pakistan spoil Afghanistan's debut in Asia Cup
Umar Akmal smashed his first one-day century in more than four years as he and Pakistan’s spinners spoiled Afghanistan’s maiden Asia Cup cricket appearance with a clinical 72-run victory on Thursday.
Akmal’s unbeaten 102 off 89 balls lifted Pakistan to 248-8, and experienced Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi shared six wickets to bowl out Afghanistan for 176 in 47.2 overs.
Afghanistan had had Pakistan on the ropes at 117-6 before Akmal took charge, notching up seven fours and three sixes for his first century since an unbeaten 102 against Sri Lanka in 2009.
Opening batsman Noor Ali Zadran top scored for Afghanistan, hitting seven fours in his 44, but the batsmen struggled to read the variations of Ajmal and Hafeez and lost their last four wickets for only four runs.