|Ground:||Dubai Sports City Stadium, Dubai|
|Scorecard:||Pakistan v Australia|
|Event:||Australia in United Arab Emirates 2012|
DateLine: 11th September 2012
Pakistan vs Australia
Australia in UAE 2012
This match had disappointment in store for the huge crowd at the Dubai Stadium and for countless fans at home and overseas who had been hoping Pakistan had now overcome their capacity for unpredictability and inexplicable batting collapses. This was not to be.
Pakistan produced their lowest T20 total and suffered the heaviest defeat in terms of runs. Some solace though, as they had won the series 2-1 before the match.
The Team Management and Selectors need to take cognizance of this defeat as a wake-up call before they step into the Twenty20 World Cup Mega event lest shades of over-confidence or complacency strikes the team again. Some hard and serious thinking is required to be rid of the malady and everyone has to play their roles according to the situation being faced because the short-lived euphoria must be balanced with consistency and maturity. Pakistan's score was below their previous lowest of 89 against England in 2010.
Aussie batsmen, Warner and Watson and bowlers Starc and Cummins proved too much for the Pakistan team despite their bowlers' late fightback to prevent Australia from reaching 200 plus. Both the Australian openers batted aggressively against Pakistan's best, including spinners, who had caused them problems in earlier matches. The opening pair partnered to put on 111 runs for the first wicket in under 11 overs compared to Pakistan collapsing to 19 for 5 wickets in the fifth over. This is the unpredictability which needs to be removed.
Spinners Shoaib Malik and Raza Hasan, were both hit for three sixes in an over and Warner and Watson struck a total of 11 sixes between them. However, Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was a key figure again in reining-back Australia after that flying start. Only 63 runs came from the final 10 overs after Bailey's team looked on course for a score in excess of 200.
When Pakistan batted, Starc initiated the damage after removing Imran Nazir, leg before for one, while Cummins struck with his second ball, inducing Hafeez (9) to drive loosely to extra cover. Three balls later, Cummins had his second scalp in his bag as he crashed through a Shoaib Malik drive to send the former captain back to the pavilion for a duck. Kamran Akmal also failed to score when he got a leading edge to a Starc delivery to be caught at mid-off.
Umar Akmal's dismissal reduced Pakistan to a dismal 19 for 5 in the sixth over. Pakistan were out of the reckoning once the top order had crumbled and from then on it became nothing more than a face-saving operation for the side batting second.
For Australia, the win also enhanced their momentum and took them back above Ireland into ninth place in the ICC T20 rankings ahead of their match against an Associate side in Sri Lanka on 19 September. On the other side, it has left a sour taste for Pakistani fans and must have affected the Team's confidence going into the World Cup. Skipper Hafeez has admitted that Pakistan still faces problems chasing so it is surely high time that this be addressed immediately.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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