Pakistan held their nerves to win
by Asher Wilson

Scorecard:Pakistan v Australia
Event:Australia in United Arab Emirates 2012

DateLine: 9th September 2012


Pakistan vs Australia
2nd T20
Match Report


Pakistan held their nerves to win a nail-biting T20 International against Australia off the final ball of a super over after the match finished in a tie on Friday.


The thrilling climax followed an equally dramatic run-chase by Australia as they matched the tally of 151 achieved by Pakistan late on Friday, forcing the match to the single over shootout, in which they managed to score only 11 runs allowing the hosts to edge them by a single run off the last ball of the super over.


Pakistan chose to bat first after winning the toss and their total was built around a solid second-wicket partnership of 76 in 11 overs between Hafeez (45) and Nasir Jamshed (45) before Kamran Akmal smashed an unbeaten 43 from just 26 balls.


Australia started positively as Warner hit 31 from 19 balls. With Watson scoring 33 and Mike Hussey 27, they were 79 for one at the halfway stage and looked set to level the series following their seven-wicket loss on Wednesday. However, their momentum was stalled by Saeed Ajmal as he sent Warner and Watson back to the pavilion in a quick succession and finished with two for 20 from four overs. The one sour note for Pakistan was that Ajmal left the field after completing his spell, complaining of a sore left shoulder. His injury will be observed before a decision is made on fitness for the final match of the series, also in Dubai, on Monday.


Australian skipper George Bailey, who hit a brilliant 42 off 27 balls in the losing effort, was nevertheless upbeat after an improved performance by his team. The all-rounder Abdul Razzaq dismissed Bailey with the first delivery, brilliantly caught by substitute fielder Yasir Arafat at deep midwicket, and conceded only three runs from his next three. Australia required 31 from three overs, 21 from two and 10 in the last over, also bowled by Razzaq.


With seven required from 2 deliveries Cummins suddenly smashed a surprising six to tie the scores and gave his side a ray of hope. But off the final ball Cummins got a leading edge to a full-toss and Imran Nazir held on to a fine catch at mid-off to send the capacity crowd of 25,000, the first sell-out in the history of the Dubai International Stadium, into wild ecstasy.


After an agonisingly long wait for the super over as both sides struggled with deciding who would bat and bowl, Australia, through David Warner, Shane Watson and the skipper George Bailey, scored 11 from Umar Gul's super over. Then out came Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq to face young but confident, Patrick Cummins. They squeaked through with 12 runs to seal the three-match series with a game in hand.


Australia, losing finalists at the last Twenty20 World Cup in 2010, have been grouped with Ireland and West Indies in the opening stage of the fourth version of the tournament, which kicks-off in Sri Lanka from September 18.


Pakistan, who won the second Twenty20 World Cup in 2009 and are ranked fourth in the World, will play New Zealand and Bangladesh in their group matches.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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