DHAKA: Pakistan defeated Australia by 16 runs in the World Twenty20 meet between the two countries at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Sunday, as Man-of-the-match Umar Akmal scored 94 runs in the first innings followed by a fair performance from the greenshirts’ bowling department.
Shahid Afridi, Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul and Bilawal Bhatti took two wickets each.
Saeed Ajmal grabbed one wicket and there was one run out as the Australian innings finished with the last wicket going down on the last ball of the match with 16 runs to go.
Only two Australian batsmen managed to score in double figures as opener A.J. Finch scores 65 runs off 79 runs and G.J. Maxwell scoring 74 off 33 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan set Australia a target of 192 runs after Aussie skipper George Bailey won the toss and chose to field first against Pakistan.
The top-order of the Pakistan team was unsuccessful to click as opener Ahmed Shahzad and captain Mohammad Hafeez returned to the pavilion scoring five and 13 runs each dropping the team to 25-2 in the fifth over, following which the Akmal couple, Kamran and Umar, stablised the innings.
Kamran scored 31 runs in as many deliveries whereas the younger Akmal scored a career-best of 94 runs off 54 deliveries missing his century as he attempted to get to the milestone with a slog shot.
Australia’s performance on the field was also flawed by a couple of dropped catches and other mis-fields.
The greenshirt’s made one change in their team that lost to India, replacing seamer Junaid Khan with 35-year-old left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Pakistan lost its opening match by seven wickets in the tournament’s Super10 stage to India on Friday whereas Australia are playing their first match.
Bailey dismissed the concept that his team held the benefit following Pakistan’s loss and rather insisted that their spin-heavy opponents held the advantage.
“I don’t think we have any benefit,” Bailey said. “If anything, they have perhaps got the advantage in terms of having played here and got used to the circumstances.
“They’ve got three spinners in the top 10 in T20 cricket, We have not played at this ground up till now. It is going to be new for us. We have to adjust pretty quickly.”
On the other hand Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez had said that the defeat to India had not spelt his side’s way out from the tournament.
He had, moreover, said before the India-Pakistan clash that “Media is always eager about India-Pakistan match but we are not targeting just one team. We have strategies for Australia and West Indies as well, both are good sides. We are prepared for all.”