On the deciding day for all the teams in the second group of the super-8s, the stuttering Pakistan were up against the unbeaten Aussies needing a win to stay in this tournament.
Hafeez won the toss yet again and chose to bat bringing in Abdul Razzaq for Yasir Arafat. It looked like Pakistan were heading for another collapse as both the openers were dismissed within the power-play. But Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal made sure that that wasn’ the case with a valuable 79-run partnership. Pakistan lost the plot again in the last 5 overs but managed to reach 149-6 by the end of the innings. Nasir Jamshed top-scored with 55 off 46 balls and Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-20.
Australia were handed two big blows early in to their innings as their key players Watson and Warner were both dismissed cheaply. Pakistan kept the pressure on after that by taking regular wickets. At one stage it looked like Australia wouldn’t even score 112, which was the total they needed to qualify for the semi-finals, but Michael Hussey dragged Australia past that total with a brilliant 54 off 47 balls. Australia ended up with 117-7 losing by 32 runs thanks to some over-due exceptional death bowling by Umar Gul. Saeed Ajmal picked up 3 for 17 whereas the Man-of-the-match Raza Hassan and the skipper Hafeez collected two scalps each.
At the end of the match Pakistan and Australia both have 4 points in the group table. India would now need to beat South Africa, who are out of the tournament, by at least 32 runs to qualify for the semi-finals in place of Pakistan.
The blog was first published on the defunct KheloPakistan.com.