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Hafeez, bowlers help Pakistan level series

Mohammad Hafeez scored 72 runs
Mohammad Hafeez scored 72 runs

Pakistan 221-4 (Hafeez 72) beat
Australia 220 (Smith 60) by six wickets
Second One-Day International in Melbourne

Mohammad Hafeez led Pakistan with a 72-run knock as they chased down 221 against Australia in 47.4 overs with six wickets in hand in the second One-Day International in Melbourne to level the series 1-1.

Australia opted to bat first on winning the toss. Junaid Khan (2-40) struck in his comeback game when he had David Warner (16) caught behind.

In his next over, Junaid also dismissed Usman Khawaja (17) while Mohammad Amir (3-47) had Mitchell Marsh (0) caught at short cover. Australia ended the first powerplay at 49 for three.

Steven Smith (60) and Travis Head (29) prevented the slide with a 45-run stand but Hasan Ali (1-29) had the latter caught behind in the 18th over.

Glenn Maxwell (23), Matthew Wade (35) and James Faulkner (19) provided some support to Smith, who completed his fifty off 91 deliveries.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, Australia were bowled out for 220 in 48.2 overs with Amir and Junaid sharing five wickets between them.

Smith dropped Hafeez (72) in the fourth ball of the chase after which him and Sharjeel Khan (29) provided solid start of 36 for naught at the end of 10 overs.

The 50-run opening stand came in the 13th over after which Faulkner (2-35) had Sharjeel caught behind ending the 68-run stand.

Hafeez dropped anchor which affected the run-rate and reached his fifty off 81 deliveries and by the half-way mark, Pakistan were 101 for one.

Hafeez got his second reprieve when Pat Cummins (0-48) dropped him in the 28th over and after a 72-run stand with Babar Azam (34), Pakistan lost both their settled batsmen in quick succession.

Even though Mitchell Starc (2-45) got his second wicket when he removed Asad Shafiq (13), Shoaib Malik (32 not out) and Umar Akmal (18 not out) ensured they reached the target in the 48th over with six wickets in hand.

Hafeez bagged the player of the match while Pakistan have levelled the series 1-1 with three more games to go.

© Cricket World 2017