Pakistan won the toss and from the outset looked a different unit today largely due to change in captaincy. It was Shahid Afridi who was captaining Pakistan in place of Mohd Yousuf who was rested due to a niggle. The Pakistani’s decided to bat on a good looking pitch but, Ryan Harris continued his golden rise in international cricket as he got Salman Butt poking at one away from his body.
Harris struck in the first over itself. As if that was not enough Mitchell Johnson bowled a delightful over and got rid of Khalid latif caught and bowled again for a duck. Pakistan were caught reeling at 2 for 0. Younis khan and Shoaib Malik hung around for quite a while before Younis khan fished at one from McKay only to be caught by Haddin. Pakistan were in dire straits at 17 for 3 in 10 Overs.
The next 3 Overs were maidens. Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik stitched a 60 run partnership before Mitchell Johnson put on show a brilliant bit of athleticism to run out Shoaib Malik. Fawad alam was next in; and the duo just like the last two matches put on a decent partnership of 82. Wickets fell in a hurry soon then after with Akmal, Afridi and Ahmed all departing in a space of 5 Overs. In the end it was Fawad alam’s brilliance that enabled Pakistan to reach a fightable score of 212. Alam made 63.
It was a pretty modest total and the Aussies looked pretty upbeat about the task ahead of them. They lost Haddin and marsh pretty early on in the piece. Cameron white soon followed suit. But, the trend of the summer continued as it was a culmination of contributions that won Australia the match and not a single stand-out performance (barring Cameron white’s scintillating 100 in the 1st ODI). Today, it was ponting and hussey who were to steer the ship home. Ponting made 55 before he holed out to Umar Akmal at long on. Australia looked a little skeptical in their approach and were continually losing wickets.
Michael hussey has been instrumental in winning Australia the series. He’s made decent contributions in all the matches and his versatility must be lauded. Put the man in at number 4 or 6, over number 20 or 45—Michael Hussey seems to have the game to do it for Australia.
And so he did today. Hussey saw Australia through with the tail ending up on 40 of 46 balls. Australia needed 12 of 12 at the end of the batting power play with Hussey and Hauritz at the crease. Hussey took rana for 9 off the pen ultimate over with some positive running and lusty hitting. It was 3 off 6 when Hauritz was trapped LBW by Rao.
Ryan Harris was Australia’s number ten and he seems to be doing nothing wrong at the moment. He had a swipe at his first ball and managed to clear wide mid-on for a couple.
A lot of drama was seen in the finale of the match. Firstly, it was Shahid Afridi who was seen biting the ball twice which was caught on camera. Reports later suggested that Afridi pleaded guilty to the charges laid down by match referee Ranjan Madugalle. Afridi has been banned for two T20 internationals which means he will miss this Friday’s clash at the SCG as well as the one against England.
The act was caught on camera and the umpires were informed so on their microphones and the ball was immediately changed. Another striking incident was when one of the spectators charged at Khalid Latif. Thankfully, for latif there were no injuries. A very embarrassing moment, for Cricket Australia considering such incidents have been happening quite often. Australia won the match when Harris was caught off a waist high no ball at mid off.
Australia clean swept the Pakistani’s not just in the ODI series but also in the test series. What remains to be seen is whether Pakistan would be able to manage a single win on this tour?
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