The fate of Shahid Afridi hangs in the balance ahead of the fifth and final one-dayer against the West Indies here at the National Stadium tomorrow.
Given a lifeline in the fourth One-day International (ODI) in Multan, Afridi flopped again with the bat and is now doubtful for the Karachi game.
The playing eleven for Karachi’s match would be finalised by the team management and chief selector Wasim Bari this evening and it remains to be seen whether Afridi manages to get another chance following the return of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.
“We are keeping our options open,” said a non-committal Bari. “Afridi has been struggling to get some runs and once again failed to impress so lets see what the coach and captain (of the Pakistan team) have to say about him,” he added.
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Bari will sit down this evening to decide the line-up for the final one-dayer and will have to take some tough decisions.
At least two players who featured in a seven-wicket defeat in Multan on Wednesday will have to sit out to make way for Inzamam and Mohammad Yousuf.
“Yousuf has informed us about his availability for the Karachi match while Inzamam is also fit and I believe he will play too,” said Bari who pointed out that picking an eleven would be a tricky task.
Comeback batsman Yasir Hameed found instant form in Multan and was Pakistan’s top scorer. Middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal, coming in for the injured Inzamam, also played sensibly.
“Yasir played really well while Faisal did a good job considering the fact that he batted during a difficult phase. Mohammad Sami also bowled pretty well,” said Bari. Sami came in for in-form medium pacer Umar Gul who was rested for the Multan match.
Gul is expected to return for the Karachi game while the team’s think tank will also have to consider rookie left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman. He did a great job in Faisalabad and Lahore but was rested in Multan to make room for Afridi.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, December 15th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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