Sat, 19 Mar 2011 - Australia vs Pakistan, World Cup 2011, 40th match Group A - Bulletin
Pakistan ends Aussie winning streak
It was Pakistan who finally broke the Australian unbeaten run in the 34 world cup games by defeating Australia by four wickets in a group A game at Premadasa Colombo.
The win though achieved after run chase had some nervy moments with wickets falling at a wrong time but youngsters Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal made solid contributions to take their across the line.
Incidentally, it was Pakistan who had last beaten Australia in a world cup game way back in 1999 at Headingly and dented the Australians badly in this game thanks to terrific bowling performance to roll out their opponents for just 176 runs.
Australia did try their level best to defend the low total on a pitch that was favoring both fast bowlers and spinners but calm head of Umar Akmal and Abdur Razzaq made sure that victory was achieved with no more stutters after it had lost six wickets with 34 runs still to score.
Pakistan didn’t start the chase well as their openers were sent back by hostile opening bowling spell of Brett Lee to put Pakistan on the backfoot but Asad and senior batsman Younis Khan combined together for third wicket to put on valuable 53 runs. Not only duo absorbed pressure and aggression of the Australian fast bowlers but had scoreboard ticking over to give run chase much needed stability.
Australian skipper again turned to Lee for the breakthrough, who didn’t disappoint his captain removing set Younis Khan and inform Misbah-ul Haq on two consecutive deliveries to bring his side back into the game. Lee was the best Australian bowler on the park bowling with pace, intent and swung the ball two ways.
Asad, however, wasn’t bothered by all this carrying on his scoring ways and alongwith Umar Akmal did the rearguard action.
Umar started with all kind of aggression and hit some imperious strokes to take game into Australian ranks but chase had another twist with Asad and Afridi going in a quick succession to put Pakistan in a spot of bother.
While Shafiq was done by a ripper of delivery by Mitchell Johnson that reared up from a good length to graze his gloves and was caught in the first slip and Shahid Afridi had a brain fade when he played a reckless shot at a crucial juncture and was caught in the deep.
It was left to Razzaq and Umar to get the winning runs who kept their heads down to put end to Australian winning juggernaut in the world cup with Razzak hitting winning by thumping one to id-off boundary. Umar after unsettled start looked very assured at the crease to see through his teams go on the top of the table.
Earlier, Pakistan displayed a stupendous bowling performance to rock Australia by bowling them all out for 176 runs to give themselves a great chance of putting a halt on Australian unbeaten run in the world cup.
All the bowlers were on the money giving nothing away and getting the wickets at regular intervals and they were supported by some great fielding performance as Pakistan looked very effervescent during their fielding effort.
It must be said that shoddy shot selection also contributed to the low total with some batsmen throwing their wickets away on the pitch that is turning out to be a two paced.
After winning the toss, Australia never looked in command during the innings as inspired bowling effort from the Pakistan bowlers pegged them back when they looked to dominate by chipping away with wickets.
Only Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke could resist but only for a brief period before losing their wickets for 42 and 34 runs respectively while Steven Smith also chipped with some valuable 25 in the later stages of the innings.
Umar Gul was his usual self bowling aggressively with the new ball and comeback to york batsmen out. He removed Shane Watson in his opening spell perhaps to the ball of the match that nipped back from outside off to hit top of the off-stump and then had wickets of Jason Krejza and Brett Lee to wipe out the tail.
Mohammad Hafez was another bowler who put brakes on the Aussie scoring rate by conceding 26 runs in 10 overs without giving away any boundary and other spinners-Afridi and Rehman were amongst the wickets with a wicket each.
It was though Abdur Razzaq who surprised one and all by bowling a four top class overs to get two Australian wickets including that of Clarke to hit Australia hard in the middle overs.
Pakistan looked sharp and up for the game in the field and some of the fielders exchanged some harsh words with Brad Haddin while celebrating dismissal of Ricky Ponting.
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