Pakistan v Australia, 1st T20, Dubai September 5, 2012

Spinners help Pakistan crush Australia


Pakistan 90 for 3 (K Akmal 31*) beat Australia 89 (Warner 22, Tanvir 3-13) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan began their warm-up for the ICC World Twenty20 with a comprehensive win over Australia in Dubai, where their spinners flummoxed Australia's long batting line-up. Not since the second T20 international ever played had Australia scored as few in an innings as the 89 for which they were dismissed in this match, and although Pakistan lost three wickets in the chase they were never in danger of losing. They cruised to the target with 31 balls to spare.

Statistics don't always mean much in T20 but the story of this match could be summed up with a few numbers. It was the first time since another loss to Pakistan in Dubai in May 2009 that Australia failed to hit a six in a T20 innings. They struck only three fours in the 19.3 overs they faced; Pakistan had that many within four overs. The only time Australia scored fewer in a completed T20 innings was 79 against England in Southampton in 2005, back when the IPL was not even a glimmer in Lalit Modi's eye. Never before had a team beaten Australia with so many balls to spare.

But the figures don't tell how Pakistan managed such a one-sided result. Sohail Tanvir finished with 3 for 13 but it was the work of the spinners, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and the debutant Raza Hasan that kept Australia from posting a competitive score. They picked up two wickets each and the regular breakthroughs and large boundaries starved the Australians.

Again they found Ajmal difficult to pick, while Hasan's clever variations showed that he can be a force at international level, while Hafeez was typically tidy. Pakistan also held their catches, which they had not always done during the ODIs, and only three Australians reached double figures, making it irrelevant that they had entered the game with eight batsmen.

David Warner top scored with 22 from 25 balls, an innings that at the time looked scratchy but was solid when compared with the rest of the performances. Warner was the third man to fall when he pushed a catch back to the bowler Hafeez, after the innings had started shakily when Shane Watson was trapped in front by Umar Gul for 8.

Promoted to No.3, Michael Hussey chipped a catch to cover when he failed to pick Tanvir's slower ball. Warner and George Bailey provided a slight recovery with a 33-run stand before Warner went, and that was followed soon after by Hasan's first international wicket, which came when David Hussey failed to clear the man at long on.

Bailey fell for 14 when he top edged a sweep off Hafeez and was caught at deep backward square leg, and it was up to Cameron White and Matthew Wade to attempt a recovery. But Pakistan's spinners were too good for White and Wade, Ajmal's variations especially deceptive, although it was Hasan who broke the partnership when Wade holed out to deep midwicket for 6 from 13 balls.

Glenn Maxwell, who came in at No.8, was caught at deep square leg off Ajmal for 4 and next ball White failed to read Ajmal and was bowled for 15 off 22 balls. Xavier Doherty survived the hat trick ball but that was about all the Australians had to celebrate, as Tanvir finished off the tail to end up with 3 for 13.

Australia's bowlers had nothing to defend and their cause was hopeless from the start. Hafeez and Imran Nazir, playing his first international for two and a half years, gave Pakistan a solid start with their 30-run opening stand. They both found the boundary and Nazir showed a willingness to take on the Australian bowlers, despite the small chase.

Hafeez (17) fell to a slower ball from Pat Cummins when he chipped a catch to midwicket and the Australians claimed a second when Ben Hilfenhaus bowled Nasir Jamshed for 10 with a good inswinger. Nazir eventually fell for 22 when he pushed a Watson full toss to cover, but Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik saw Pakistan home. Akmal struck the only six of the match and finished unbeaten on 31 from 24 balls. He hit more boundaries on his own than the Australians did for their entire innings.

It was a clinical performance from Pakistan, but Australia did little to suggest their ninth place in the ICC T20 rankings is anything but accurate. Of course in T20 anything can happen on any day; Australia just need to make sure something happens for them before this series is out. Because one day like this in the World T20 could be enough to send them home early.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 7, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Here's my take on the first T20 match. Firstly, the toss was crucial as Australia were caught unprepared on how to handle the T20 innings especially after transitioning from the ODI format; even Pakistan would have struggled had they been batting first. Secondly, it was the overall fielding that the Pakistani's can be proud of as they grabbed all the crucial chances given by the Ausies; the ODI outcome could've also been different had they fielded better. Lastly, the individual battle between the two young captain's of their T20 sides was comprehensively won by Hafeez aka The Professor; Bailey was exposed with his fielding decisions and seems to be a liability with the bat, whereas, Hafeez was spot on with his bowling changes and contributed well in the batting department. Key changes for both teams: AUS: McKay for Hilfenhouse (more pace and bounce), Christian for Maxwell (better all rounder); PAk: Afridi for Razzaq (adds bowling option)

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    Pakistan can win world T20 on serious note if batsmen help their bowlers. They have world-class bowlers.

  • MehulG on September 6, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    For sure, Aussies team is not deserving Rank#9. Pak team is better than their rank too. In ICC WT20, I am sure these two teams will perform better.

  • Dummy4 on September 6, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    @Marcio: Exactly! We did lose the ODI series despite being thoroughly dominant with the bowling, and losing despite THAT bowling attack is nothing to be proud of. Nasty and gloating comments do no nation any good. Statements like "may the best team win" are just as bad. May Pakistan win, Ameen! @RandyOZ: Yeah t20 IS hit and giggle, the rankings are quite fickle, and tests are best, not to mention Pakistan were the top t20 side when they were the worst test and ODI side. Nonetheless, this is still an international series, not like football-like leagues, so the patriotic element is present, and the standard of play is infinitely better in internationals than in league games. The bowlers actually have a raison d'être.

  • Paul on September 6, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Australian fans dont like 20twenty? Hence posting here. LOL

  • adithya on September 6, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    fluke win for pak.aus will comeback hard in next two matches and crusk this ordinary pak side.

  • Muttee on September 6, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    anyone claiming that T20 is not real cricket then please stop coming on a T20 match report, end of story and someone saying Aus won the leg that mattered more, you cannot be more wrong. If they mattered this much then Australia wouldn't have been asking for 6T20 matches instead of 3 of each. One-dayers didn't matter this time around solely based on the upcoming world cup. Any event in the cricketing world where all the nations are participating matters, period.

    I am a great fan of Ausi team, but they are on a decline, just like Pak was a few years back. Pak is good at T20 because a lot of T20 is played in pakistan and also even fewer over matches in the streets where most of these players have come from. So yeah it does matter, Ausies just need to find the right balance with bat and ball and also the right order of batting. This pitch is not a grea spinning wicket, it assist the pacers as well as Gul has showed in a lot of previous matches played here

  • pranshu on September 6, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    T20, the bikini cricket. Pathetic. This can not be the best version, odi and test are far better. All what u need is 2 good overs to win the game. R u kidding me?

  • Wicky on September 6, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    @Green and Gold, ur point z reasnble, i think d same regrdng pak team,even if they whitewash aus now,d unfulfild dream of thrashng ausies n setlng some past scores stil gona hurt me big time as ths aus team z weakst of ausies team pak playd about a decad ago,test z definitly suprem form of crickt n I m hapy that pak,undr misbha's captainship doing briliantly there,so prblm z with our odi side nt with t20 or test side.BST OF LUCK TO AUS BT I CAN'T SEE THEM DOING ANYTHNG SUBSTANCIAL DURNG DIS SERIES .BT LETS SEE

  • Wicky on September 6, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    As i wrote bfor 2nd odi,these non.sbcntinental teams(wi,nz,eng,sa,aus) can't score even 150 in tests n odis n would strugle to score run a bal against dis pak bowlng provided thre z sme assistance 4rm pitch(nt square turners) plus fieldrs hold on their chances.

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