Dhaka: Umar Akmal hit a fighting hundred to help Pakistan overcome early wobbles against Afghanistan to win their crucial Asia Cup match by 72 runs in Dhaka on Thursday. Pakistan owed their recovery to Akmal's 89-ball 102 not out, which lifted them from a precarious 117-6 to 248-8 in 50 overs before they wrapped up their rivals for 176 in 47.2 overs.
Afghanistan, playing their inaugural match in the five-nation tournament, impressed despite the defeat -- but their lack of experience stopped them from causing an upset. Chasing a daunting target, the Afghans were 139-2 in the 36th over before losing their last eight wickets for 37 runs as Mohammad Hafeez (3-29) and Saeed Ajmal (2-25) gave Pakistan a win with a bonus point. (Scorecard | Highlights | Pics)
Asghar Stanikzai (40) and Nawroz Mangal (35) shared a 74-run partnership for the third wicket but they failed to match the required net run-rate which climbed on them, undoing their run-chase.