Not Again Pakistan!
Mohammad Aamer bowled a five-wicket maiden but it counted for nothing as Australia whipped Pakistan en route to an imposing 191 before bowling the defending champions out for 157 at the Beuasejour Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing the improbable target was a tough ask and Pakistan started miserable by losing the inform Kamran Akmal off the first delivery of the run-chase. Akmal’s partner Salman Butt blazed a few boundaries before he was undone by a short ball from Shaun Tait. Misbah-ul-Haq (41) and Shahid Afridi (33) combined for a good partnership but it was too much for Pakistan as they lost by 34 runs.
There was some good bowling, with three wickets each for pacemen Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes, and outstanding catching from Australia which ensured they kept the upper-hand, bowling out their opponents with the final ball.
Earlier, Captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat on a placid surface and openers David Warner (26) and Shane Watson (81) delivered robustly, scoring 50 in the first six overs.
Pakistan picked Warner and then Clarke in quick succession but David Hussey put paid to any hopes of a comeback with a 29-ball 53 which included four sixes off Mohammad Sami in one over. Hussey would thank Salman Butt for his party as he was dropped by the latter on 19.
In the end, even as Aamer bowled an extraordinary last over, there was little joy for Pakistan as they faced a daunting task.
This was Australia’s first match of the tournament and, as widely predicted, they omitted specialist off-spinner Nathan Hauritz and opted for batsmen who could also bowl spin in the likes of Michael Clarke and David Hussey.
Pakistan were unchanged from the side that beat Bangladesh by 21 runs in Group A here on Saturday.