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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Pakistan beat Aussies in thriller
WORLD TWENTY20, Johannesburg:
Pakistan 165-4 (19.1 overs) beat Australia 164-7 (20 overs) by six wickets

Misbah-ul-Haq pulls a short ball
Misbah-ul-Haq hit the biggest six of the tournament in his 66 not out

A superb stand of 119 between captain Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq helped Pakistan to a six-wicket win over Australia in the Super Eights.

The pair came to the crease with Pakistan struggling at 46-4 in the seventh over after Stuart Clark had taken three top-order wickets.

Malik ended on 52, while Misbah was unbeaten on 66. The win is likely to secure Pakistan a semi-final place.

Earlier, Sohail Tanvir claimed three wickets in Australia's 164-7.

Misbah's innings also included the biggest six of the tournament so far, a tremendous front foot drive off Nathan Bracken which travelled an incredible 111m to usurp home favourite Albie Morkel at the top of the big-hitter's league.

Malik won the toss and elected to field - and his decision immediately paid dividends when Tanvir had Matthew Hayden (1) caught by Younus Khan at mid-wicket in the second over.

Adam Gilchrist (24) played his usual flamboyant innings before slashing an easy catch to Mohammad Hafeez at point in the fourth over.

Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds began to repair the early damage, although Symonds was dropped on 26 by Hafeez, who shelled a tough caught and bowled chance in the eighth over.

606: DEBATE

It was Shahid Afridi who made the vital breakthrough, bowling Symonds (29) as he attempted to smash the leg-spinner over long-on in the ninth over.

And Hafeez then took the vital wicket of Ponting (27) two overs later, bowling the Australian captain as he hit across the line.

Hussey and Hodge began to build a dangerous partnership, with Hussey in particular looking dangerous.

But left-hander Hussey (37) succumbed when he drilled Tanvir to Imran Nazir in the deep in the final four overs.

A superb direct hit from Afridi ran out Michael Clarke before Asif claimed the final wicket of the innings when Hodge (36) holed out to Younus in the deep.

Australia got off to the ideal start when Clark ripped through Pakistan's top order, courtesy of undisciplined batting from Imran Nazir (10), Hafeez (15) and Younus (4), all of whom were dismissed playing needlessly expansive strokes.

But thanks to their intelligent partnership, Malik and Misbah guided Pakistan through a rough patch to mount the perfect opportunity to counter-attack, pinpointing the off-spin of Symonds as a weak link.

The pair plundered 17 from the 14th over of the innings, bowled by Symonds, to give them a target of 31 from 30 balls.

And the duo reached the winning runs courtesy of a wide from Symonds with five balls to spare.


  • Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist:
    "We always felt the total was a bit shy. I don't think our bowlers let us down, it was with the bat where we let ourselves down.

    "It always felt like a reasonable wicket. We've seen the way the ball gets to the boundary rope here.

    "We felt that in those conditions we were probably 15 or 20 runs short to really be confident of winning."

  • Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq:
    "My performance speaks for itself.

    "We have had great players in the middle order like Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younus Khan but I now have a chance to cement my place.

    "I can't compare myself to them, but I will try to perform like them."



  • SEE ALSO
    ICC World Twenty20 venues
    08 Sep 07 |  Cricket


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