|Scorecard:||Australia v Pakistan|
|Player:||BJ Haddin, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq|
|Event:||Australia in United Arab Emirates 2008/09|
DateLine: 22nd April 2009
It was a morale-boosting win for Pakistan after all that has happened in the recent months. Australia were in control early on, but were dented by a six-wicket burst from Shahid Afridi. Though they did fight back well to make Pakistan work for their runs, a score of 168 never looked threatening. Kamran Akmal was the star with the bat, making a fluent 48, and Afridi provided some entertainment with a quickfire 24. Misbah laboured to 30, but his presence at the crease was important for Pakistan to scale down their target. A devastating career-best of 6 for 38 from Shahid Afridi sparked a dramatic Australia collapse in the opening ODI in Dubai as they lost 8 for 27 before being bowled out for 168. Australia's rapid demise was a reflection of their ordinary recent one-day form. With the ball gripping and turning Afridi's mixture of googlies and topspinners caused most of the problems, but the relatively inexperienced Saeed Ajmal offered little respite with his doosras.
Shaun Marsh, who tweaked his hamstring earlier, was run-out for 16 when Salman Butt made him pay for hesitation by his runner, Nathan Hauritz, the second-wicket pair of Brad Haddin and Shane Watson made largely untroubled progress. Haddin scooped Afridi to short cover and none of his team-mates then hung around for very long. Michael Clarke's struggles against the spin continued as he was flummoxed by an Ajmal doosra and edged behind before Afridi worked his magic. Andrew Symonds nicked one to Kamran Akmal then Watson was beaten by one which turned through the gate. Misbah-ul-Haq pouched Callum Ferguson's edge to remove one of Australia's few in-form batsmen. Nathan Hauritz completely misjudged Ajmal's line and shouldered arms before Afridi's googlies proved too much for Stuart Clark and Nathan Bracken. James Hopes enjoyed a free swing of the arms in the third Powerplay with an unbeaten 48 to push the score to 168.
A breezy 48 by Kamran Akmal ensured that Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series at the Dubai Sports Stadium. Australia managed to plug the chase with wickets at regular intervals but the score to defend was not much of a concern to Pakistan. Australia tasted early success in the seven-over period before the dinner break when the dangerous Salman Butt departed for just 5 off Ben Hilfenhaus. The seamers kept it simple and focused on making use of the bounce to keep the batsmen in check. Younis Khan tried to push the scoring but he miscued a pull off James Hopes to Nathan Bracken at midwicket.
Nathan Hauritz couldn't extract the same turn and bite that Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal managed against his batsmen. He overpitched too often and that allowed Akmal to get forward and drive through the line. He used his feet well and chipped down the track to bisect the gaps in the infield. Akmal continued to attack but then Akmal played one shot too many and he was dismissed of an impressive Clark. Malik and Misbah found the going a little difficult as the pair added 18 runs in 8 overs but then Malik got out when he tried to be a little too cheeky as he was pouched up brilliantly by Haddin off James Hopes.
Afridi came in and played some lusty blows as he looked to finish off the match in a hurry and got out when he tried to launch Hilfenhaus out of the newly built Dubai stadium. It looked as if the contest was heading to finish quickly but the Symonds introduced late into the attack took the wicket of Nasir Jamshed who strode out late in the innings but Misbah ensured that they did not lose the match with a solid innings.
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