Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sports News (16.05.2010)


Hussey the hero as Australia stun Pakistan
GROS ISLET: Michael Hussey's latest rescue mission saw Australia beat defending champions Pakistan by three wickets with just a ball to spare to reach the World Twenty20 final here on Friday.

Set a huge 192 to win, Australia collapsed to 62 for four.

But, initially through Cameron White, who made 43, and Hussey's unbeaten 60, they recovered and will now face old rivals England in Sunday's final at Barbados's Kensington Oval.

Australia needed 18 to win off the last over, from off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. Mitchell Johnson took a single off the first ball and then Hussey took over.

The left-hander pulled Ajmal for six, struck him over long-on for six more, brought the scores level with a four and thumped another six for good measure as Australia finished on 197 for seven.

The man-of-the-match faced just 24 balls, but hit six sixes and three fours.

Brothers Kamran and Umar Akmal both scored fifties as Pakistan piled up 191 for six.

Opener Kamran's 50 and younger brother Umar's even more rapid 56 not out came against an Australia side, yet to lose at this tournament, which had thrashed them by 34 runs in a first round group match.

Australia, set a huge 192 to win, slumped to 23 for two.

Left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer, who led the attack with three wickets for 35 runs, struck twice to remove Australia openers David Warner (nought) and Shane Watson (16).

And when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal completed two neat stumpings off left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and leg-spinner captain Shahid Afridi to dismiss Brad Haddin and captain Michael Clarke respectively, Australia were 62 for four inside nine overs.

David Hussey and White staged a brief revival before the former was caught and bowled by Rehman to leave his team 105 for five in the 13th over.

White though kept swinging away but when he drove an Aamer full toss straight to Mohammad Hafeez at long-off, to end a game innings of 43, featuring five sixes, Australia were 139 for six in the 17th over.

Australia though, thanks to Michael Hussey, kept going to seal a superb come-from-behind win.

Earlier, Warner was out second ball when he cut Aamer to Umar Akmal at backward point before Watson drove the bowler directly to Abdur Rehman at long-on.

Pakistan, sent in by Australia captain Michael Clarke after rain delayed the start, saw their innings start with a Dirk Nannes maiden.

But Kamran Akmal and left-hander Salman Butt (32) shared a first-wicket stand of 82 as Australia's pace trio of Nannes, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson failed to make an early breakthrough.

Pakistan then cashed in against Australia's second-string bowlers with all-rounder Watson's two overs costing 26 runs and leg-spinner Steven Smith conceding 23 from two.

Nannes's second over saw the match's first boundaries when Kamran Akmal, stepping away to leg, lofted him high over the covers. Next ball he drove straight down the ground for another four.

Smith's first over went for 15 runs, including a massive Kamran Akmal six.

The spinner was replaced by Watson but his first ball back was driven for another huge six by Kamran Akmal.

The keeper, giving himself room, then cover-drove the fifth ball for four and, off the last, cut the medium-pacer for another boundary to complete a fine fifty off just 32 balls with two sixes and six fours.

But he was out for 50 after Warner, running round from the extra-cover boundary, took a fine diving catch off Johnson.

Umar Akmal smashed Johnson for two enormous sixes, the second a crunching pull over midwicket that saw him to fifty in just 29 balls, with four sixes and two fours.

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Bits and Pieces
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Hussey earns accolades as Afridi draws flak
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