ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Australia v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Group A, Colombo

Lee's effort not enough for Australia

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 19, 2011

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Brett Lee enjoys another wicket, Australia v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 19, 2011
Brett Lee did his best to rescue the match for Australia © Getty Images
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Australia's 34-match unbeaten World Cup run finally came to end against Pakistan in Colombo but even in defeat Brett Lee produced an immense performance. His four wickets gave the current champions a chance of pulling off victory but in the end there weren't enough runs to play with.

After their batting subsided with 20 balls unused Australia's only chance was to bowl out Pakistan but on current showing it needed to be Lee himself to do most of the damage. He removed both openers in a fiery burst before returning to claim Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq with consecutive deliveries in 23rd over, leaving Pakistan wobbling on 98 for 4.

Lee could easily have removed Kamran Akmal in the first over and his second he squared up Mohammad Hafeez and made good ground to take the return catch. With attacking fields set by Ricky Ponting, further boundaries were notched up by Kamran and Asad Shafiq, who had to battle some pain after twisting his ankle, but Lee kept his side in the match.

After being carved over the covers he thundered a rapid delivery into Kamran's pads and this time he was given out by Marais Erasmus with the review unable to save him. However, Ponting knew he had to save some of Lee for later and his spell ended after five overs which released the pressure on Pakistan.

After Younis and Shafiq had steadied the chase Lee was recalled to the attack with dramatic effect. Younis flashed once too often outside off and gave a simple catch to Brad Haddin and next ball and the match was back in the balance when Misbah-ul-Haq, the other half of Pakistan's experienced middle order, hung his bat out at a Lee outswinger.

However, support was too late in coming which didn't leave enough runs to play with. Mitchell Johnson had Shafiq taken at slip off the glove for a composed 46 and Shahid Afridi brainlessly carved to long-on against Jason Krejza. Surprisingly, Lee wasn't immediately recalled with 34 runs still needed and by the time he came back the target was down to 10.

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