GEORGETOWN — Saeed Ajmal ended with figures of 10-0-37-5 as the Pakistanis secured a seven-run win over Guyana in a closely fought tour match at Bourda yesterday.
Ajmal took the crucial wickets of Narsingh Deonarine and Leon Johnson, and also later struck twice in the 40th over to help the Pakistanis successfully defend their total of 246.
Guyana had earlier won the toss and elected to field. The Pakistanis, batting in slightly overcast conditions, reached 12 in three overs before rain briefly stopped play.
The game resumed with openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad dominating the Guyana bowlers, as the pair put on 62 runs for the opening wicket in 14 overs before Jamshed fell for 19 to Veerasammy Permaul. Mohammad Hafeez departed six overs later, hitting one back to Permaul, who accepted the offer low to his right, to leave the Pakistanis at 86 for 2.
Shehzad then put up a 30-run partnership with the captain Misbah-ul-Haq, with Shehzad reaching his 50 from 58 balls with six fours. He eventually made a 79-ball 68 which included nine fours, before getting stumped by Anthony Bramble off Devendra Bishoo.
Misbah was the next to go, lbw to Steven Jacobs for 22, and when Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq were both sent back by Bishoo, the Pakistanis were struggling at 160 for 6, with Shahid Afridi and Wahab Riaz at the crease.
But the pair delivered a counterpunch, with Afridi hitting both Jacobs and Keon Joseph for sixes. They put on 31 runs for the seventh wicket, before Afridi was caught by Paul Wintz at long-off, when he looked to clear the boundary off Permaul.
A late surge from Umar Amin, who hit two fours during his unbeaten 17, took the Pakistanis to a final score of 246 for 9. Permaul was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts, finishing with figures of 10-3-27-3.
Guyana began their run chase in poor fashion, as Mohammad Irfan dismissed the openers Trevon Griffith and Bramble within the first five overs. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Johnson revived the innings, putting on 54 runs for the third wicket before Sarwan edged a delivery from Abdur Rehman to Akmal. The hosts began to grow in confidence as Johnson struck Afridi for two fours in one over and then pulled Rehman over wide midwicket for six, taking the team to 138.
But Ajmal turned the game around for the Pakistanis, dismissing Johnson for lbw and later removed Assad Fudadin for 11. Deonarine, who hit five fours and two sixes, put up a fight but was eventually bowled by Ajmal for 55.
With Guyana needing 77 from their final 10 overs, Jacobs and Bishoo took the fight to the Pakistanis, as they added 41 for the ninth wicket. Ajmal trapped Jacobs lbw for 27 and Ali completed the victory for the Pakistanis, bowling Bishoo for 28.