Pakistan opening batsman Nasir Jamshed smashed a brilliant 97 to help his team beat Australia by seven wickets in their second one-day international on Friday, levelling the series 1-1.
After Michael Hussey’s 61 helped Australia score 248-9, Pakistan chased down the target with 38 balls and seven wickets to spare, with the left-handed Jamshed hitting 11 fours and two sixes.
Jamshed cut, pulled and drove imperiously in his 98-ball knock as the Australians found it difficult to bowl with the ball getting wet because of heavy dew.
Jamshed laid a solid foundation of 66 with Mohammad Hafeez (23) before putting on further 101 with Azhar Ali (59 not out) as Australia captain Michael Clarke used eight bowlers without much success in energy-sapping humidity.
Australia had won the first match by four wickets at Sharjah, which hosts the series-decider on Monday.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit the winning boundary to remain unbeaten on 35 and put on 56 runs for the unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Ali.
Jamshed and Hafeez attacked the Australian seamers from the outset before Daniel Christian had the latter caught in the deep by Michael Hussey.
Clarke seemed to run out of ideas and even called up Michael Hussey to bowl his off spinners for the first time in two years in an ODI, but to no success.
The wet ball was so much frustrating for the Aussies that the former world No. 1 ranked side gave away 20 wides the most conceded by them in a one-day international against Pakistan.
Earlier, Michael Hussey’s half-century off 72 balls put Australia back on the track after Pakistan’s spinners struck early to reduce Australia to 87-4 with the top-order batsmen struggling to come to terms with the slow bowlers.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 4-32, but Michael Hussey featured in two productive partnerships adding 66 with George Bailey (39) followed by another 58 off 48 balls with Glenn Maxwell (28).
Opening batsman David Warner (24) took 19 deliveries to get off the mark but somehow managed to put on 66 runs for the second-wicket with Clarke (37) before Pakistan hit back through its spinners.
Warner’s agonising knock off 68 balls ended when Ajmal trapped him leg before wicket, while Clarke was also judged lbw off Hafeez.
Pakistan’s sloppy fielding also cost it dearly as its fielders missed three run-outs and Asad Shafiq dropped Maxwell at mid-wicket when the batsman was on 21.
Ajmal returned to remove Hussey and Maxwell in the space of five deliveries but not before the pair had ensured Australia put on a competitive total.
Maxwell followed when he was beaten by Ajmal’s “doosra” and was stumped. Daniel Christian (18) hit two fours and Mitchell Starc also hit two boundaries off Sohail Tanvir’s last two balls of the innings.
Left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan, who came in for Aizaz Cheema, ended up by taking 3-52.
Keywords: Australia-Pakistan ODI series