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Australia's batting woes against the Pakistani bowlers continued unabated on their tour of the Middle East with the change in format making absolutely no difference to the performance of their batsmen.
Having been put into bat in the fantastic settings that are the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the visitors failed to bat out their 20 overs, managing just an abysmal 89 runs in the time they spent at the crease. Only three Aussie batsmen managed to get into double figures with David Warner top scoring with 22. Pakistan coasted to an easy win by 7 wickets with each of their batsmen getting starts, and the hosts never really ever looking like they would have trouble chasing down the target.
Umar Gul celebrated his return to the Pakistan side by removing Shane Watson for 8 in his 2nd over before fellow seamer Sohail Tanveer picked up the massive wicket of Michael Hussey for 1. David Warner and skipper George Bailey stitched together a 33 run stand for the third wicket, the only useful partnership of the innings.
Warner fell caught and bowled to Mohammad Hafeez for 22 in the 9th over and his wicket proved to be the catalyst into what turned into a rout. Hafeez removed Bailey as well for 14, while Saeed Ajmal and 20-year old debutant Raza Hasan ran through the middle order as Australia were knocked over for just 89.
Pakistan looked on course for an early finish as their openers Mohammad Hafeez and the returning Imran Nazir added 30 runs for the first wicket before skipper Hafeez fell to young Pat Cummins for 17. Nasir Jamshed, who had been in impeccable form in the one dayer's came in a spot lower than usual at no.3, and made a run a ball 10 before Ben Hilfenhaus rattled his furniture.
Another very much in-form player Kamran Akmal was the surprise no.4 in this ultra-flexible Pakistani batting line-up, and the wicketkeeper batsman added another 24 runs with Nazir to edge Pakistan closer to their target. Nazir though fell for 22 to a full toss from Shane Watson to give the Aussie a slender window to try and prolong the contest.
That failed to happen though as the contrasting styles of the free-scoring Kamran Akmal and the calming influence of former skipper Shoaib Malik saw Pakistan over the finishing line inside 15 overs as they registered a thumping 7 wicket win to nudge 1-0 ahead in this three match series.
Both teams will have a day to revisit their strategies before re-engaging in battle right here in Dubai on Friday.
Pakistan: M Hafeez(c), I Nazir, N Jamshed, S Malik, U Akmal, K Akmal(wk), A Razzaq, S Ajmal, U Gul, S Tanvir, R Hasan
Australia: D Warner, S Watson, G Bailey(c), M Hussey, D Hussey, M Wade(wk), C White, G Maxwell, X Doherty, P Cummins, B Hilfenhaus
Australia: 89 all out (19.3 overs, 4.56 rpo)
D Warner 22 (25) S Tanvir 3-13
C White 15 (22) S Ajmal 2-13
Pakistan: 90/3 (14.5 overs, 6.06 rpo)
K Akmal 31* (24) S Watson 1-9
I Nazir 22 (26) P Cummins 1-14
Pakistan win by 7 wickets with 5.1 overs to spare
File Photograph Copyright: ICC World T20
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