Monday 27 April 2009 

Clarke Leads By Example As Australia Go 2-1 Up

Australia 198-7 (Clarke 66, Ferguson 41, Umar Gul 3-38) beat

Pakistan 171 (Salman Butt 48, Clarke 3-15, Hauritz 2-25) by 27 runs


Third One Day International, Abu Dhabi

Australian captain Michael Clarke scored a half-century and took five wickets to lead his side to a 27-run win over Pakistan in the third One Day International in Abu Dhabi.

Australia scored 198 for seven, Clarke making 66, before he took three for 15 to help bowl Pakistan out for 171 as side moved into a 1-2 lead in the five-match series.

Clarke stroked nine fours in his 93-ball innings, coming to the crease after James Hopes had been run out for 15 and Shane Watson bowled by Umar Gul for a duck with the score on 28 for two but Clarke, along with support from Brad Haddin (26) and Callum Ferguson (41) began to rebuild his side's innings.

Andrew Symonds fell for seven, trapped in front by Shahid Afridi before Umar Gul had both Ferguson and David Hussey (10) caught out.

Nathan Hauritz was unbeaten on 18 and Nathan Bracken was not out on two, Shoaib Malik the only other man to take a wicket. Saeed Ajmal, in the side despite having having been reported by the ICC for a suspected illegal bowling action, bowled nine wicketless overs for 42 runs.

Pakistan appeared to be cruising towards their target when openers Salman Butt (48) and Ahmed Shehzad (40) put on 95 for the first wicket in quick time but they were rocked by two instances of losing two wickets in two balls.

First Butt was caught by Clarke off Hauritz one ball before captain Younus Khan collected a golden duck when he offered Andrew Symonds a duck and then when just 12 runs had been added to the score, Clarke dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq for nine when he was caught by Hauritz and then immediately had Shehzad bowled.

Shoaib Malik tried desperately to hold Pakistan's innings together with 30 in 56 balls but there was nothing the former captain could do as Shahid Afridi (6), Kamran Akmal (8), Yasir Arafat (3), Sohail Tanvir (11) and Umar Gul (0) all fell cheaply, Australian seamers Stuart Clark, Bracken and Hilfenhaus returning to grab a wicket apiece with Hauritz ending with two for 25.

Having turned the series from the opening defeat in Dubai, Australia now head to the fourth match, at the same venue, on 1st May, 2-1 to the good and boosted by the news that Brett Lee is to join up with their squad and could be pushing for a place in the final matches.

© Cricket World 2009