By BV Swagath
Pakistan pulled off a superb 16-run win over Australia at Mirpur in a high scoring contest. After posting 191 on the board, Pakistan were on top with left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar taking the wickets of David Warner and Shane Watson in the first over itself.
Australia at 8 for 2 were on the backfoot but Glenn Maxwell played a magical knock to put them in a winning position alongside Aaron Finch. Maxwell smoked half a dozen sixes and 7 fours scoring 74 from just 33 balls. Pakistan finally saw his back in the 12th over when Maxwell swept Afridi into the hands of deep mid wicket.
Afridi struck again in the 16th over bowling Skipper George Bailey through the gate. Brad Hodge was out to a smart catch from Saeed Ajmal at deep covers to leave the Aussies at 155 for 5. Aaron Finch who was now left to take the Aussies home all on his own got bowled by an Ajmal yorker in the 18th over.
Finch took 54 balls to score 65 with 7 fours and 2 sixes. After his exit, it was too easy for Pakistan to prevent the Aussies from reaching the target. Umar Akmal was named as the Man of the Match for his scintillating knock.
Pak innings: Pakistan asked to bat first by Australia smashed 191 for 5 thanks to Umar Akmal’s sizzling knock. Pak were off to a poor start at 25 for 2 in 4.2 overs before Umar Akmal joined his older brother Kamran to take them out of the woods.
The Akmal brothers added 96 runs for the 3rd wicket in 8.3 overs. Kamran contributed 31 from 31 balls to the Pakistani total before he got out to Nathan Coulter-Nile. Umar Akmal almost batted till the end, scoring a superb 94 from 54 balls with 9 fours and 4 sixes. Shahid Afridi also batted well to score 20* from 11 balls.