Dominant Australia cruise to 2-0 lead
Australia 6 for 267 (Watson 69, White 55, Aamer 3-53) beat Pakistan 127 (Yousuf 58, McKay 3-15) by 140 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Australia produced a commanding all-round performance to take a 2-0 lead with a 140-run demolition of Pakistan at the SCG. After being led by Shane Watson and Cameron White in their 6 for 267, the hosts delivered a stinging bowling display to knock over the tourists for 127 in 37.3 overs.
Pakistan lost their first five wickets for 42 in an awful opening and the result added further to the troubles of the captain Mohammad Yousuf, who is being replaced after the series. Yousuf had mistakenly chosen to bowl first in the hope of getting an advantage from the overcast conditions in the afternoon, but all the support came for the fast men as the sun started to go down. The ball seamed and bounced dangerously for Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle and Clint McKay and the tourists could not cope.
Salman Butt (2) went in the fifth over nicking a shorter one from Bollinger and was taken at second slip by White. Three balls later the combination repeated the dismissal, dropping Pakistan to 2 for 7, when White dived to his left to catch the edge of Younis Khan.
Kamran Akmal was soon run out for 16 after chasing a quick single, having been sent back eventually by Yousuf and then beaten by McKay's direct hit in his follow through. Akmal's brother Umar joined him in the dressing room two deliveries later after his off stump was clipped by Siddle.
The hosts would not allow a recovery and lost their fifth man when Ricky Ponting leaped to his left at point for the superb one-handed take of Shoaib Malik (2). Yousuf was watching all the damage from the other end but was ultimately helpless, although he struck a strong six to long-on off Watson and was committed in his 58 off 94.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan kept him company for an explosive 27 before being stumped off Nathan Hauritz, who caught Yousuf at short fine leg. There were few highlights for Pakistan on a night dominated by the hosts. Bollinger had 2 for 19 off nine, Siddle and McKay (3 for 15) also gave up less than three runs an over, and Hauritz collected 2 for 45.
Australia were challenged in Brisbane on Friday but they controlled most of match from the moment Watson struck the opening ball for four through point. While Watson lit up the innings with 69 off 71 balls and dominated a 100-run stand in 19.5 overs with Shaun Marsh, the chances of a massive total were upset by the frugal Afridi. In the end it didn't matter.
Afridi removed both openers and it was difficult for the hosts to increase the pace until White led the final thrust. White followed his century at the Gabba with 55 off 58 and benefited from delaying the batting Powerplay until the last five overs.
White belted a six and a four in an over from Naved-ul-Hasan and scrambled to the finish, bringing up his fifty with a drive over point. He departed on the fourth-last ball - the wicket went to Mohammad Aamer, who returned 3 for 53 - and Brad Haddin helped out with an unbeaten 27 off 14.
Afridi was central in regaining control for Pakistan after the opening burst and gave up only 35 from 10, including a crucial eight-over spell of 2 for 25 after coming on in the bowling Powerplay. He picked up Watson and Marsh while Saeed Ajmal and Malik were also tight, going at slightly more than four an over.
Watson muscled nine boundaries and a six off Naved-ul-Hasan that landed not far from the dressing room at midwicket. After five overs he was 34 off 22 - Australia were soon speeding at 65 off 10 - and brought up his fifty from 42 deliveries before accepting a standing ovation.
Yousuf called for the bowling Powerplay as soon as possible and Watson was held back by the spin as Afridi arrived. Afridi struck when Watson tried for another clearance and was well taken by Malik at deep midwicket.
Marsh (41) also fell to Afridi when he attempted to hit to the leg side and got a leading edge to long-on in a troubling period for the home side. Ponting (13) lacked fluency for the second match in a row and Australia were 4 for 166 when Michael Clarke fell on 25. White rallied and the bowlers backed up his charge, giving Australia the chance to claim the five-match series in Adelaide on Tuesday.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo