Clarke Century Guides Australia To Series Win
Australia 200-2 (Clarke 100no, Watson 85no) beat
Pakistan 197 (Ahmed Shehzad 43, Bollinger 5-35) by eight wickets
Fourth One Day International, Abu Dhabi
Michael Clarke scored an unbeaten century as Australia recovered from losing two wickets in the first three overs to beat Pakistan by eight wickets and move into an unassailable 3-1 series lead in the fourth One Day International in Abu Dhabi.
Captain Clarke came to the crease with his side three for two chasing 198 to win after Brad Haddin (0) and debutant Marcus North (1) were dismissed by a recalled Shoaib Akhtar.
Clarke then stroked 14 fours in 122 balls while Watson, unbeaten on 85 from 140 balls, hit seven fours and a six as he returned to form to ensure that Australia reached their victory target in the 45th over.
Earlier, left-arm seam bowler Doug Bollinger picked up career-best figures of five for 35 to wreck Pakistan's innings after they had won the toss and chosen to bat.
Bollinger removed the two in form batsmen, Salman Butt (2) and Shahid Afridi (40), also dismissing former captain Shoaib Malik for 27 and having last pair Shoiab Akhtar (2) and Saeed Ajmal dismissed in consecutive deliveries.
Ahmed Shehzad top scored with 43 and Misbah-ul-Haq chipped in with 34 but with Nathan Bracken (2-31), Stuart Clark, Nathan Hauritz, and Clarke also in the wickets, 197 never looked like being enough.
And despite Shoaib Akhtar's early burst, Australia were not to be denied. The express fast bowler finished with two for 42 from seven overs.
The fifth and final match takes place on 3rd May at the same venue.
© Cricket World 2009