Pakistan get Aussie revenge

2010-07-05 22:14

Birmingham - Pakistan beat Australia for the first time in 13 matches across all formats as they won the first Twenty20 international by 23 runs at Edgbaston here on Monday.

They were indebted to Umar Akmal's career-best 64 that helped Pakistan to a total of 167 for eight after they'd been 47 for four.

Australia, chasing 168 to win, were bowled out for 144 with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (three wickets for 26 runs off his maximum four overs) and teenage left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer doing the bulk of the damage.

Victory put Pakistan 1-0 up ahead of the second and final Twenty20 here on Tuesday.

"It's been a long wait," Pakistan coach Waqar Younis told reporters. "But we got into a position to win and this time we finished it off."

Turning to Umar Akmal, still only 20-year-olds, fast bowling great Waqar added: "He's probably the most talented (Pakistan) player I have seen in the last 15 to 20 years. He can go all the way to the top."

Australia were 85 for four when Michael Hussey came to the crease.

They'd been 62 for four, chasing 192 when the left-hander's unbeaten 60 off 24 balls saw Australia to a thrilling three-wicket win over Pakistan in the World Twenty20 semi-final in St Lucia in May - the last time the teams met.

But Umar Gul, who missed the World Twenty20 through injury, captured the prize wicket of Michael Hussey by bowling him for 18 with a superb reverse-swinging delivery.

Gul then bowled Tim Paine, going across his stumps, to leave Australia needing 31 off 12 balls.

Ajmal - savaged for 22 runs in the last over in St Lucia - finished the match with eight balls to spare by having both Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait stumped by wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal

"They played well," Australia captain Michael Clarke said of Pakistan.

"We were a little bit disappointing with the bat and Umar Gul bowled really well at the death and Ajmal is always hard, he spins the ball both ways.

"Hopefully, we'll play better tomorrow (Tuesday)."

Australia lost opener Shane Watson for a second ball nought when he was lbw to a brilliant inswinger from Aamer.

But the second over, from fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, went for 20 runs as left-hander David Warner struck fours off all the first five balls from the 'Rawalpindi Express', for four.

However, Clarke fell for just five when he was well caught by opposing skipper Shahid Afridi at short extra-cover off all-rounder Abdul Razzaq's second ball.

And Australia were four wickets down when Warner, who made 41 off just 30 balls, was bowled by Ajmal's second delivery as he tried running the ball down to third man.

Afridi then held his second excellent catch, to dismiss Cameron White off Aamer, and Pakistan were right back in the match with Australia 109 for five.

Umar Akmal's innings surpassed his previous best of 56 not out, which he'd made twice before including during the World Twenty20 semi-final loss.

He faced 31 balls with two sixes and seven fours.

Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik (21) revived the innings with a stand of 51 after Pakistan lost three wickets for two runs in six balls to slump to 47 for four in the eighth over.

Umar hoisted left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson for a huge six and pulled him for four off successive balls to go to a 21-ball fifty before he was bowled by Tait to the disappointment of an overwhelmingly Pakistan-supporting crowd.

Fast bowler Tait led Australia's attack with two for 25.