Pakistan get better of Australia to take lead in series
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Edgbaston, Birmingham
Scorecard:Australia v Pakistan
Player:Umar Akmal, Umar Gul
Event:Pakistan in England 2010

DateLine: 5th July 2010


After twelve unsuccessful attempts Pakistan finally got better of Australia in any format of the game. The string of defeats began from the close encounter in the Champions Trophy 2009 in South Africa continued in the miserable tour of Australia and in the unforgettable encounter in the semi-final of World T20 2010. The Pakistani side fought back every time they found themselves in an unfavourable situation.


Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that looked to take spin as the day progressed. The start was not what Afridi had expected and half-way through the Pakistani innings it seemed that the Pakistani innings would simply implode. Shahzaib was the first to go as he went for a pull against Nannes to a delivery that was not short enough and miscued to mid-on. Butt and Kamran combined for a 43-run partnership to put the innings back on track. Kamran was the aggressive of the two as he found the boundaries regularly. Kamran Akmal looked in fine touch as pulled Dirk Nannes for a stunning six but was unfortunately run out for 23 off 19 balls as he was the victim of some poor running from Salman Butt. Butt after scratching around for 13 from 20 balls slog-swept David Hussey straight into the hands of David Warner at deep midwicket. Afridi was trapped leg before by a quicker one from Smith as the Pakistani innings stumbled to 47 for 4.


Umar and Malik came together and soon began to counter-attack. The pair first took stock of the and then went after the bowling with gusto. Umar Akmal began the process after he deposited Smith in the long-on and long-off stand. Shoaib Malik went after David Hussey as an over yielded 21 runs in an over. The pair added 51 for the fifth wicket before Malik was dismissed in unusual fashion when he edged a slow bouncer behind off Nannes and the batsmen took a cheeky single, only for replays to show that Tim Paine had completed the catch diving forward.


From then on it was Umar Akmal show as the youngster cut, pulled and drove to the fastest T20 International fifty for Pakistan. As long as Umar Akmal was there in the middle a score of 180 to 190 looked highly possible but a clever slower delivery from Shaun Tait ended his innings. The Pakistani score ended at 167 for 8 in 20 overs.


Australia in reply had a poor start as they lost Watson for a duck to an impressive Mohammad Aamer but Warner did not let that distract him. The diminutive southpaw went after a rusty Shoaib Akthar with such ruthless manner that the once fastest bowler in the world was left mumbling to himself. Warner crashed five consecutive boundaries of Akthar and Afridi was forced to ring in changes. Razzaq replaced Akthar and soon he removed Clarke whose woes in the T20 format continued.


The pair of David Warner and David Hussey counter-attacked well to set the Australian side towards the target. The pair added 52 in 7.2 overs as the Australian side silenced a partisan vociferous crowd and helped their side inch towards the target. The Pakistani side needed an inspiration and they got it from their skipper Afridi. Afridi was able to fox David Hussey with an excellent slower delivery as the batsman was caught at mid-off. Saeed Ajmal then breached Warner's defence with a top-spinner to leave the Australian side in some sort of strife.


White played some lusty blows before a slower delivery from Mohammad Aamer had the batsman chip to mid-off where Afridi pulled off a magnificent catch. Smith got a couple of boundaries to ease the pressure off Hussey and looked set to help Australia across the line before an impressive Mohammad Aamer splayed his stumps. It was all down to Michael Hussey and it seemed that a special delivery was needed to eject the finisher out of the crease. Umar Gul was given the ball and the lanky seamer produced an unplayable reverse-swinging yorker and Hussey found his leg stump a yard away from him. The finisher was finished.


Tim Paine learned the hard way that never expose your stumps to Umar Gul as he found his leg stump cartwheeling towards fine-leg as he attempted a cheeky paddle-sweep. Saeed Ajmal had the honour of removing the final two wickets as Pakistan won by 23 runs to take lead in the T20 International series.


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