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Brilliant Afridi rounds on Windies

Figures of 7-12 from nine overs headlined Shahid Afridi’s stunning all-round performance on his Pakistan return as West Indies were routed by 126 runs at Guyana in the opening one-day international of five

Afridi, whose previous appearance for his country was in March, top-scored with a typically aggressive 76 off 55 balls to help Pakistan recover from a perilous 47 for five to set their hosts a target of 225 to win.

The 33-year-old then demolished the Windies with his leg-spin as they were skittled for just 98 - their lowest total against Pakistan. Afridi's figures were the second-best ODI return of all time behind Sri Lanka paceman Chaminda Vaas' 8-19 in 2001.

Few could have predicted Pakistan would run out such convincing winners when Windies paceman Jason Holder was tearing through the tourists' batting line-up at the start of the match.

The 21-year-old, who ended with 4-13, took all of the wickets as Pakistan were reduced to 23 for four before a brief shower sent the players off.

Following the resumption, Umar Akmal then fell to Kemar Roach as Pakistan saw half their side back in the changing rooms before even 50 runs had been scored.

However, Umar's departure brought Afridi to the wicket and his arrival saw the whole dynamic of the game change.

The powerful all-rounder hit five sixes and six fours in scoring his 35th ODI fifty and found a useful ally in captain Misbah-ul-Haq as the pair shared in a sixth-wicket stand worth 120.

Misbah eventually fell in the 48th over after dropping anchor in an innings of 52 off 121 deliveries that included a solitary four, but his contribution in support of Afridi helped Pakistan out of a hole and to a much more competitive score of 224 for nine.

It soon became clear that score was not only competitive, it was going to be well beyond West Indies' reach.

With just five overs gone the hosts found themselves seven for three, with Mohammad Irfan dismissing Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo plus star man Chris Gayle being run out.

Then it was the Afridi show. He sent back Lendl Simmons and Windies captain Dwayne Bravo in successive deliveries, then snared the big-hitting Kieron Pollard.

That left the home side on 50 for six but worse was to follow as Afridi ousted top-scorer Marlon Samuels for 25 and Roach in his next two overs.

Afridi was then taken out of the attack, but he returned in the 41st over and promptly wrapped things up by dismissing Sunil Narine and Holder in the space of four balls to complete one of the great all-round performances while securing the win and, unsurprisingly, the man of the match award.