Spin lulled Australia into a stupor and Pakistan reaped the benefits in an ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights Group II match at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday. Pakistan defeated Australia by 32 runs.

Pakistan’s 149 for six became too steep a mountain to climb once Shane Watson and David Warner were ‘swept’ away in the spinning yarns weaved by ‘Man of the Match’ Raza Hasan and Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez respectively. Australia could muster only 117 for seven.

A third leg-before-wicket dismissal came into play when skipper George Bailey, after striking a six off Shahid Afridi, knelt down and tried a slog-sweep against Saeed Ajmal.

The across-the-line mode continued to haunt Australia with Cameron White being its latest proponent and as wickets fell around Michael Hussey, 112 became the next target for Australia as that would place it above Pakistan in the net run-rate sweepstakes.

Objective achieved

That objective was achieved once Hussey hit Umar Gul past point and clenched his fist in the last over to seal Australia’s semifinal berth while Pakistan’s fate will depend on the next game between India and South Africa.

In the afternoon, Nasir Jamshed acted as though he was on a jaunt at his hometown Lahore’s Anarkali Bazaar. The southpaw made Australia pay dearly for a fielding lapse that granted him a life even before he had opened his account. Glenn Maxwell dropped him at first slip after he wafted at Mitchell Starc.

The left-arm seamer had earlier trapped a shuffling Hafeez during a passage of play that vindicated Bailey’s decision to field first.

The other opener Imran Nazir soon became another exhibit in Watson’s lucky-streak gallery. The all-rounder’s full-toss elicited a catch and Pakistan was in a fragile state.

Jamshed though was operating at a higher level. He started with a silken cover-drive off Watson and once Maxwell committed another blunder, failing to stop a drive at long-off, the 22-year old’s knock gained the weight of runs and lightness of feet.

Big partnership

He pulled an errant Pat Cummins for six and disdain was writ large over the flat-batted four he picked off Brad Hogg. Along with Kamran Akmal (32), Jamshed shared a 79-run third-wicket partnership off 55 balls.

Pakistan’s gallop, however, did not fully fructify as Jamshed and Kamran fell within a span of three deliveries while the score read 108.

Finally Abdul Razzak, picked in the playing eleven ahead of Yasir Arafat, biffed and helped Pakistan post a total that assumed gargantuan proportions once its spinners hunted as a pack.

Scoreboard

Pakistan: Md. Hafeez lbw b Starc 4 (5b), I. Nazir c Bailey b Watson 14 (13b, 2x4), N. Jamshed c Warner b Doherty 55 (46b, 4x4, 2x6), K. Akmal c White b Starc 32 (26b, 1x4, 1x6), U. Akmal (not out) 9 (8b, 1x4), A. Razzaq c Watson b Cummins 22 (17b, 2x4, 1x6), S. Afridi b Starc 4 (2b, 1x4), S. Malik (not out) 4 (3b); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 149.

Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Hafeez), 2-29 (Nazir), 3-108 (Jamshed), 4-108 (Kamran), 5-136 (Razzaq), 6-144 (Afridi).

Australia bowling: Doherty 4-0-27-1, Starc 4-0-20-3, Watson 4-0-23-1, Cummins 4-0-42-1, Maxwell 1-0-6-0, Hogg 3-0-29-0.

Australia: S. Watson lbw b Hasan 8 (14b, 1x4), D. Warner lbw b Hafeez 8 (13b, 1x4), M. Hussey (not out) 54 (47b, 4x4, 1x6), G. Bailey lbw b Ajmal 15 (12b, 1x4, 1x6), C. White c Nazir b Hafeez 12 (11b, 1x6), G. Maxwell c Hafeez b Hasan 4 (5b), M. Wade b Ajmal 13 (14b, 1x4), P. Cummins b Ajmal 0 (1b), M. Starc (not out) 1 (3b); Extras (b-1, w-1): 2; Total (for seven wkts., in 20 overs): 117.

Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Watson), 2-19 (Warner), 3-44 (Bailey), 4-58 (White), 5-65 (Maxwell), 6-110 (Wade), 7-110 (Cummins).

Pakistan bowling: Hafeez 4-0-22-2, Hasan 4-0-14-2, Ajmal 4-0-17-3, Afridi 4-0-33-0, Malik 2-0-19-0, Gul 2-0-11-0.

Man-of-the-Match: Raza Hasan.

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