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Umar Akmal, spinners help Pakistan down Australia

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Pakistan have bounced back strongly after their defeat to India by beating Australia by 16 runs in an entertaining encounter in Dhaka on Sunday afternoon. It was Australia's first game of the ICC World T20 and skipper George Bailey won the toss and opted to bowl.

Pakistan posted a superb total of 191-5 in their 20 overs on the back of a magnificent 94 from just 54 balls from young Umar Akmal. Akmal spanked 4 sixes and 9 boundaries against an Australia side for whom only last minute call-up Doug Bollinger had figures of any respectability. Nathan Coulter-Nile did pick up two wickets for the Australians but went at 9 an over.


Australia lost the early wickets of David Warner (4) and Shane Watson (4) to left arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar in the very first over before Glenn Maxwell (74) and Aaron Finch (65) combined for a 118 run partnership to seemingly swing the match firmly in their favour. Maxwell in particular was just as destructive as Akmal, reaching his half-century off just 18 balls, equalling David Warner's record for the quickest T20 fifty by an Aussie. However, Maxwell's dismissal to Shahid Afridi resulted in a huge momentum shift.

Australia were still very much in the contest when they needed 31 to win from 3 overs, but an outstanding 18th over from veteran off-spinner Saeed Ajmal saw him concede just 1 run and pick up the crucial wicket of Finch.

Australia’s lower middle order were not able to keep up the momentum and fell well short in the end, losing by 16 runs in a high scoring contest.

Mini Scorecard:

Pakistan 191-5 (20.0 overs)

U Akmal 94 (54) N Coulter-Nile 2-36 (4)

Australia 175 all out (20.0 overs)

G Maxwell 74 (33) Zulfiqar Babar 2-26 (4)