Helps Pakistan rout Australia:
Shahid Afridi returned career-best bowling figures and then
contributed with the bat to anchor Pakistan’s four-wicket win over
Australia in the first day-night international here on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old exposed Australia’s frailties against spin with 6-38
to help Pakistan bundle their opponents out for a paltry 168 before
hitting a whirlwind 24 to help the team chase down the target in 44.1
The victory, only Pakistan’s second in their last 11 matches against
Australia, gave them a 1-0 lead in the five-match one-day series.
Pakistan made heavy weather of the modest run-chase as they lost opener
Salman Butt (five) and captain Younus Khan (11) before Kamran Akmal (48)
and Misbah-ul-Haq with an unbeaten 30 avoided any further hiccups.
Akmal hit nine boundaries during his 62-ball knock, while Afridi
notched five boundaries during his 16-ball stay but Australia made
regular inroads, dismissing Shoaib Malik (24) and Nasir Jamshed (nine)
to keep a check.
Afridi hit two boundaries off Stuart Clark and then took 16 off a Ben
Hilfenhaus over before holing out at mid-on to the same bowler. At
6-152, it looked either way, but Haq kept his cool as Gul (eight not
out) hit the winning boundary.
Pakistan captain Younus praised Afridi for his brilliant bowling.
“It was fantastic team effort,” said Younus. “The fast bowlers did
well to check the openers and then Afridi and Saeed Ajmal bowled very
well. We wobbled a bit when batting but its (all’s) well that ends
well.” Australia captain Michael Clarke blamed poor batting for the
“No excuses, we batted poorly and all credit to their bowlers,” said
Clarke, standing in for regular captain Ricky Ponting in this series.
“We were 70-80 short but it was a good effort to not let Pakistan win
until 44 overs.” Earlier, Australia were well placed at 95-1 with opener
Brad Haddin (40) and Shane Watson (40) before losing eight wickets for
27 runs as batsmen crumbled on the untested pitch at the new Dubai
Stadium which Wednesday became the 172nd one-day venue.
Afridi’s previous best one-day bowling of 5-11 came against Kenya at
Birmingham in 2004. James Hopes, who top-scored with 48 not out, added
46 for the last wicket a record against Pakistan in one-dayers with
Hilfenhaus (four) to give some respectability to the total. Haddin along
with Shaun Marsh had given Australia a brisk 41-run start before Marsh,
requiring a runner after pulling his hamstring while taking a quick
single, was run out. DUBAI, AFP
Salman Butt lbw b Hilfenhaus 5
Kamran Akmal c Haddin b Clark 48
Younus Khan c Bracken b Hopes 11
Shoaib Malik c Haddin b Hopes 24
Misbah-ul-Haq not out 30
Shahid Afridi c Bracken b Hilfenhaus 24
Nasir Jamshed b Symonds 9
Umar Gul not out 8
Extras: (lb5, nb6, w1) 12
Total: (for six wixkets) 171
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Butt), 2-33 (Younus), 3-81 (Akmal), 4-99 (Malik), 5-138 (Afridi), 6-152 (Jamshed)
Bowling: Bracken 9.1-2-25-0, Hilfenhaus 10-3-42-2 (6nb, 1w), Hopes 8-1-22-2,
Clark 8-1-32-1, Hauritz 6-0-27-0, Symonds 3-0-18-1