July 3, 2001

Review of Pakistan-Australia Clashes in England

The final of the NatWest Series last Saturday at Lord's was almost a repeat of WC'99 final. Pakistan once again played poor cricket and caved in under the so-called big match pressure. Australia emerged deserving winners by 9 wickets. Pakistan had earlier qualified for the final just as they had won the Group-B match of the 7th World Cup against Australia at Leeds. Interestingly, despite Pakistan's defeat in the finals of WC'99 and the NatWest Series, their overall performance against Australia in England is reasonable. Out of the 8 matches so far played in England between the two, Pakistan have won three and Australia four, while one match, that was to be played at Chester-le-Street during the NatWest Series, was abandoned due to rain.

Below is a brief review of ODIs so far played between Pakistan and Australia in England:

WC'75 Leeds
After their two successive and convincing ODI victories against England in 1974, Pakistan were considered one of the strongest sides in the inaugural World Cup. On June 7, Pakistan played their opening match against Australia at Headingley. Australia won the toss and achieved an imposing 278-7 in 60 overs. Ross Edwards played a fine innings of 80 not out. Alan Turner and Greg Chappell contributed with 46 and 45, respectively. Naseer Malik claimed 2/37 and Imran Khan 2/44. In reply, after 40 overs, Pakistan were enjoying a clear edge over their rivals, at 172 for 4 compared to Australia's 148 for 4 at the same point in their innings. Dennis Lillee then returned to produce an amazing spell of hostile bowling, rapidly folding Pakistan innings at 205. Man of the Match Lillee claimed 5 for 34. Max Walker took 2 for 32. Majid Khan scored 65 and skipper Asif Iqbal 53.

WC'79 Nottingham
Australia were not at their full strength due to absence of some of their key players who had joined the World Series Cricket. Pakistan, on the other hand, were once again among the favourites in the second Prudential World Cup, held again in England in 1979. The two teams clashed at Nottingham. Australia won the toss and put Pakistan in. Majid Khan (61), captain Asif Iqbal (61) and Javed Miandad (46) put Pakistan in a commanding position by achieving 286/7 in 60 overs. Gary Cosier claimed 3 for 54. Australia, in reply, were dismissed for 197 in 57.1 overs - 89 short of the target. Andrew Hilditch, famous for being out, handling the ball at Perth a few months earlier, top scored with 72 and Graham Yallop got 37. Sikander Bakht and Majid Khan claimed 3 wickets each for 34 and 53, respectively, while Imran Khan chipped in with 2 for 29. Asif Iqbal won the Man of the Match award.

WC'99 Leeds
Pakistan and Australia played Group B match of ICC WC'99 at Leeds on May 23. Pakistan won the exciting encounter by 10 runs with just a ball to spare. Earlier, Pakistan after being put in by Australian skipper Steve Waugh, were in dire straits at 46 for 3. Later, Abdur Razzaq (60), Inzamam-ul-Haq (81) and Yousuf Youhana (29), helped by some ferocious hitting down the order by Moin Khan (31), saw Pakistan posting an impressive 275 for 8 in 50 overs. Australians, too, made a disastrous start, with Adam Gilchrist being bowled for a third ball duck by skipper Wasim Akram, who eventually claimed 4/40. The innings was steadied first by a 91-run stand between Mark Waugh (41) and Ricky Ponting (47) and then by a 113-run partnership between Bevan and Steve Waugh (49). Australia had achieved 60 of the 70 runs needed in the last 10 overs, with two wickets still in hand, when Wasim Akram snapped up both these wickets in the final over to seal the fate of the match.

Final WC'99 Lord's
Pakistan and Australia clashed in the final of the 7th World Cup on 20th June 1999. What was being tipped as a thrilling match, turned out to be the most one-sided final in WC history, as Pakistan folded-up. So disappointing was their performance that even the Australians were heard saying they never expected Pakistan to surrender so meekly. Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan never quite recovered after losing both openers early (Saeed Anwar 15 and Wajahatullah Wasti 9). They succumbed to some superb bowling by Shane Warne (4/33), Glenn McGrath (2/13), Damien Fleming (1/30), Tom Moody (2/15) and Paul Reiffel (1/29) and were all out for 132 in just 39 overs. The 25 extras was the highest contribution to this total. Australia, in reply, scored rapidly and achieved the small target for the loss of only two wickets in 20.1 overs. Labelled as world's quickest bowler, Shoaib Akhtar suffered the agony of being thrashed for 37 runs in 4 overs without any success. Shane Warne was adjudged the Man of the Match.

NatWest Series 2001 Cardiff
Yousuf Youhana (91 not out) and Rashid Latif (66) restored Pakistan's innings after an early collapse, moving the total from 85 for 6 to 257 in 49.5 overs. Shane Warne claimed 3 for 52, Glen McGrath 2 for 22, Ian Harvey 2 for 29 and Brett Lee 1 for 85. Australia succeeded in removing Inzamam-ul-Haq, the core of Pakistan's batting, for a duck. Australians never looked under any pressure when they came out to chase the target. They romped home with 7 wickets and 4.2 overs to spare. Ricky Ponting scored a brilliant 70 and won the Man of the Match award. Michel Bevan and Steve Waugh, with respective scores of 56 and 54, were the not out batsmen at the crease when Australia reached the target. Mark Waugh scored 47 at the opener's slot. Azhar Mahmood was the most economical of the Pakistan bowlers, conceding 37 in 8 overs, but did not get a wicket.

NatWest Series 2001 Chesterle-Street
Match abandoned due to rain.

NatWest Series 2001 Nottingham
Pakistan won the thrilling and nerve-wracking match by 36 runs. The spectators disrupted this highly charged up encounter, with firecrackers causing some ugly scenes during the Pakistan innings and causing the Australians to walk off for safety. On the run of play, both teams displayed masterly skills, grit and tenacity. In this match Pakistan did not panic - quite a rarity in recent times. At one stage, in reply to Pakistan's total of 290 for 9, Australia were galloping along at such a fast pace that even the huge target looked small. Adam Gilchrist was in explosive mood, as he almost tore Pakistan's attack apart. Waqar Younis was forced out of attack, having conceded 43 in four overs, after a quick burst of three early wickets. Wasim Akram also came under heavy stick, conceding 68 in ten overs. Pakistan took a sigh of relief when Saqlain Mushtaq struck, Adam Gilchrist - clean bowled for 70 (44 balls) - and then produced a beauty to get rid of Damien Martyn (2) in the same over. The match then swung back in Pakistan's favour. Still, Australia's man of crisis, Steve Waugh, along with Andrew Symonds, maintained the fast pace and steered their side within 100 runs of the target. A worried but determined Waqar Younis brought himself back and claimed three more wickets to finish with 6 for 59. This was his fifth 6-wicket haul in ODIs. Earlier, Pakistan's massive 290-9 was mainly built around a stylish 79 by Saleem Elahi, a sound 44 by Yousuf Youhana, an elegant 34 by Saeed Anwar and a breezy 28 not out by Wasim Akram. Waqar Younis was adjudged the Man of the Match.

Final Nat West Series 2001 Lord's
Pakistan once again proved that they were not equal to the task. Australia, having devised their new strategy of bowling to an attacking field, more like test cricket than ODIs, kept a tight grip on the match right from the start. Pakistan were simply outclassed in all departments of the game. Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting were again their heroes. Pakistan won the toss but failed to capitalise on the opportunity. After the early loss of Saleem Elahi, they completely buckled under pressure. One of their most reliable batsmen, Yousuf Youhana, ran himself out, while Inzamam seemed not to be satisfied with an lbw decision. But that is not to take away anything from the Australians as they displayed highest professionalism in every department. In fact, the match proved almost an action replay of WC'99 final between the two teams, played at the same venue. Saeed Anwar (27), Inzamam, Abdul Razzaq (24), Rashid Latif (23) and Wasim Akram (17) were the main contributors in Pakistan's meagre 152 in 43.2 overs. Australia achieved the target with utter ease, as Pakistan bowling lacked penetration or sting. The Man of the Match Adam Gilchrist once again hammered the bowlers on way to an unbeaten 76 (93 balls). Ricky Ponting also remained not out on 35 (23 balls). Australia made 156 for 1 in 26.3 overs and Pakistan lost by 9 wickets. From Pakistani supporters' point of view the gloomiest aspect of the game was their team not putting up any worthwhile effort in the match.

SUMMARY: 1975 to date

1975 Leeds Australia won by 73 runs 1979 Nottingham Pakistan won by 89 runs 1999 Leeds Pakistan won by 10 runs 1999 Lord's Australia won by 8 wickets 2001 Cardiff Australia won by 7 wickets 2001 Chester-le-Street Match abandoned due to rain 2001 Nottingham Pakistan won by 36 runs 2001 Lord's Australia won by 9 wickets