Pakistan beat Australia by three wickets
by AFP

Ground:Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth
Scorecard:Australia v Pakistan
Player:Abdul Razzaq, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, B Lee, MJ Clarke
Event:VB Series 2004/05

DateLine: 30th January 2005


A jubilant Pakistan finally found the form which had deserted them throughout their tour of Australia, defeating the host nation by three wickets in their tri-series limited overs match at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground.


Pakistan, beaten 3-0 in the Test series against Australia and losers in three of their four previous tri-series matches, chased down the 266 runs needed for victory, losing only seven wickets and with almost three overs to spare on Sunday.


Man of the Match Abdul Razzaq and his partner Rana Naved-ul-Hasan punched the air with joy as the winning runs came up off four leg byes.


In the end it was decisive knocks from Yousuf Youhana, Razzaq and Shahid Afridi which set up the win, Pakistan's first against Australia on tour.


The Australians, who had already qualified for the best-of-three finals series, paid the price for an ineffective bowling attack with spinner Brad Hogg and allrounder Andrew Symonds proving very costly at 1-71 off 10 overs and 2-65 from 9 overs respectively.


Speedster Brett Lee also failed to extract any life from a wicket known for favouring pace and he was took just 1-63 from 9.2 overs.


The win didn't come as easily as it might have for Pakistan after they made a string of fielding blunders while Australia were batting.


But they finally cast aside the inconsistency which has plagued their tour while batting, with several players taking important roles.


Yousuf Youhana was the keystone of the innings, making a decisive 72 before being caught by Simon Katich trying to blast an Andrew Symonds delivery over mid-off.


He and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq came together with Pakistan struggling at 49 for 3 forming a comfortable 74-run partnership until Inzamam was trapped lbw to spinner Brad Hogg for 29.


Shoaib Malik was the next to arrive at the crease but he departed almost immediately after for just one, run out by a direct hit from Symonds with the score at 125 for 5.


Yousuf continued to flourish with allrounder Abdul Razzaq, hitting seven fours and one six before being dismissed.


It was then that Razzaq, who had earlier taken 4-53 while bowling, became the rock for the team.


Together with Shahid Afridi they took Pakistan from 170 for 6 midway through the 34th over to 200 for 6 after the 18th over with Afridi hitting a massive six to bring up the double century.


His trademark cameo of 30 runs from 13 balls added the flourish to the Pakistan innings which had been in danger of flagging.


Earlier, clumsy fielding had cost Pakistan dearly as they tried to gain the upper-hand against the unbeaten Australians.


Opener Adam Gilchrist was dropped twice during his innings of 47 and Damien Martyn put down once.


Michael Clarke, the rising star who once again held the Australian innings together with 75 not out, also escaped lightly when he was dropped by Salman Butt while on 44.


Pakistan's bowlers managed to extract some life from the the lively Perth wicket with allrounder Abdul Razzaq finishing the innings with the bext bowling figures of 4-53.


Rana Naved-ul-Hasan was the most economical with 2-49 but it was Rao Iftikhar Anjum who suffered most with three of the dropped catches coming off his bowling.


Once again opener Matthew Hayden -- already under intense pressure to keep his place in the one-day team after a run of poor form -- failed dismally, making just six runs from 16 balls.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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