Australia Preserve Perfect Record With Two-Run Win

Australia 127 (D Hussey 40, Umar Gul 3-20) beat
Pakistan 125-9 (Kamran Akmal 64, Tait 3-13) by two runs
TV Reaction |
Twenty20 International, Melbourne

Australia thrilled a full house at the MCG by defending 127 to beat Pakistan by two runs in a pulsating Twenty20 International encounter.

Umar Gul took three for 20 and Pakistan produced a rare display of fielding brilliance to bowl Australia out for 127 but Australia were just as good in the field, Shaun Tait taking three for 13 as Pakistan were held to 125 for nine in reply.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat but the tone was set for Pakistan when Umar Akmal swooped to run out Shane Watson for eight in the second over.

David Warner counter-attacked with 24 in 14 balls and Michael Clarke made 32 in 26 before the wickets began to tumble, Fawad Alam clinging on to a sharp chance at backward point to see off Clarke and then brilliantly running out Cameron White (4) when he had one stump to aim at from the same position.

Travis Birt and Brad Haddin both managed just one run before being dismissed by acting captain Shoaib Malik and two superb pieces of bowling then left David Hussey, who top scored with 40 not out in 31 balls, batting with the tail.

First, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan bowled Steven Smith with a slower ball googly and then Gul had Mitchell Johnson caught by Brad Haddin off a vicious lifter that he gloved behind.

Hussey thumped a four and two sixes before Dirk Nannes was run out by Akmal and Shaun Tait chipped Gul to Alam.

Tait then came in and bowled some of quickest deliveries ever seen in Australia and his reward was the early wickets of Imran Farhat (8) and Malik (3) and the run out of Imran Nazir without scoring put Pakistan on the back foot.

Swiftly onto the front foot, however, was Kamran Akmal, who unleased a flurry of sublime straight drives to take 20 runs off Johnson's first over and ensure that Pakistan stayed in the game.

He eventually hit seven fours and two sixes before Tait returned to have him caught by Hussey.

Umar Akmal took over the responsibility, hitting 21 but when he was left with ten to win from the final over and two batsmen remaining, he was unable to get his side over the line, holing out to David Warner off of Watson.

Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Asif were then unable to score the required runs to take the game, despite a boundary from the last ball, and Australia's perfect reocr ercord of having never lost a Twenty20 International home was preserved.

They also won all three Tests and all five One-Day Internationals against Pakistan as well.

© Cricket World 2010