Momentum the key issue for both the teams
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 27th April 2009
Australia hit back to level the series on Friday and show they would not be swept aside by Pakistan's crafty spin. While Shahid Afridi starred again with both disciplines, the performance of Andrew Symonds, who struck a half-century and two blows with the ball, gave Michael Clarke's team a big boost after the allrounder's troubles on and off the field over the past year.
After Symonds' innings the Australians were able to cruise to an important victory by six wickets, which moved them alongside their opponents, who were more professional in the opening match in Dubai on Wednesday. Abu Dhabi hosts the final three encounters of the tight series that is testing the progress of both sides as they peer towards the World Twenty20 in June.
Andrew Symonds displayed good form with the bat for the first time in a long time during his 58 on Friday, an innings which was a relief to him and his supporters. More strong showings in the final three games will help seal his passage to England.
Salman Butt was lucky to survive after his awful mix-up with Ahmed Shehzad in the third over on Friday, but he stayed calm following his reprieve and moved to a useful half-century. With Pakistan's batting not going as well as their bowling, Butt has an important job at the top of the order in setting up the side for a match-winning total.
(possible): Brad Haddin (wk), James Hopes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Andrew Symonds, Callum Ferguson, David Hussey, Nathan Hauritz, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken, Doug Bollinger.
(possible): Salman Butt, Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan (capt), Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Iftikhar Anjum, Saeed Ajmal.