ICC World Twenty20, St Lucia:
Australia 191 (20 overs) beat Pakistan 157 (20 overs) by 34 runs
Watson ensured a strong total for Australia with some pulsating strokes
Australia recorded an impressive 34-run win over defending champions Pakistan in their opening ICC Twenty20 match.
Shane Watson, dropped on 11, smashed seven fours and four sixes in 81, while David Hussey, put down on 18, hit four sixes in an over in 53 from 29 balls.
Remarkably five wickets fell in the final over, Mohammad Aamer with three scalps, as Australia were 191 all out.
Pakistan lost Kamran Akmal in the first over and though Misbah-ul-Haq hit two sixes in 41 they were all out for 157.
The Australians have a modest record in the shortest format of the game, and after reaching the semi-finals of the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 they lost both matches and were knocked out at the first hurdle in England last year.
Surprisingly the winners of the last three 50-over World Cups were seeded ninth for this event but displayed the basics of quality all-round cricket and were far superior to the team seeded one.
They opted to bat first in St Lucia and after David Warner stepped down the wicket to launch Mohammad Hafeez for a glorious straight six in the second over, Pakistan wasted a key opportunity in the spinner's next over.
Watson had swept Hafeez for four but next ball clipped to mid-wicket where Misbah was slow to react and failed to cling on when lunging low to his left.
The Australia opener compounded the error by lashing the next ball for six over mid-wicket and with Warner dispatching a full toss from rapid left-armer Aamer and backing away to thump the next ball for four, the 50 came up from 33 balls.
Watson's personal fifty came from just 31 deliveries courtesy of successive sixes off Hafeez, and at the halfway mark his team had raced to 86-2.
Pakistan concentrated on spin in a bid to slow the scoring but Hussey and Watson both struck majestic straight sixes in an over from Shahid Afridi.
Then came the second crucial dropped catch, with the score on 122-2 as Salman Butt got into perfect position to pouch Hussey's lofted drive at long off, only to spill it horrendously.
Misbah offered brief hope for Pakistan until he fell in the 17th over
Like Watson, Hussey ensured the error was expensive as he launched four sixes in an over off Mohammad Sami - three magnificent drives down down the ground in succession - as 28 came from the 16th over.
In view of the rampant scoring, the equation of 38 from the final 24 balls to record the 200 was relatively straightforward.
But Hussey pulled to mid-wicket and Watson was trapped lbw by a quicker ball as Saeed Ajmal struck twice in four balls.
Nine were needed to bring up the 200 but no further runs were added in an astonishing final over.
First Brad Haddin squirted one to gully then Aamer was on a hat-trick as a yorker rattled through the defences of Mitchell Johnson.
The hat-trick ball saw non-striker Mike Hussey striving for a bye and run out by wicketkeeper Kamran, before Steve Smith fell in similar fashion next ball.
The rarity of a dot ball followed as the bye was rejected, but the final ball of the innings saw Aamer disturb the timbers again to finish with 3-23 as Shaun Tait was bowled off the pad backing away.
Any momentum Pakistan may have gained from that flurry of wickets quickly evaporated as Kamran sliced the first legitimate ball of the Pakistan innings to third man.
Butt wristily carved three boundaries in Dirk Nannes over but soon succumbed to Tait, top-edging a wild pull to give a simple catch to mid-wicket.
Hafeez pulled straight to deep mid-wicket in the next over but Umar Akmal swatted Watson over long-on for six in the final powerplay over - nonchalantly caught one-handed by a policeman - to leave 114 required from the final 14 overs.
Umar departed when slicing leg-spinner Smith to deep cover where Mike Hussey had far more difficulty than the laughing policeman in juggling with the ball before taking the catch.
Afridi scythed two fours and a six as 17 came from a Smith over and with 42 balls remaining 80 were needed.
But Afridi was bowled off the pads by Tait and in the next over, potential match-winner Abdul Razzaq holed out to Warner on the long-off boundary off Nannes.
In contrast to Pakistan - relieved to have an opening win against Bangladesh in the bank - Australia held all their catches, skipper Michael Clarke atoning for his failure with the bat with two agile takes, including the key scalp of Misbah in the 17th over.
Having struck a sweetly-timed six down the ground off Nannes, Misbah was superbly caught by Clarke running back from mid-off next ball.
Tait concluded the match in style by shattering Ajmal's stumps for his third wicket and the outcome of Group A will be decided in Barbados on Wednesday when Australia face Bangladesh.
Afridi admitted his team were always up against it chasing such a large score and said: "191 is a great total on this track.
"They played very well against the spinners."
Watson duly collected the man of the match award and said: "It's nice when you do get a life, especially in Twenty20, it's nice to get a reprieve."