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Australia v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur

March 23, 2014

Butter-finger osmosis, courtesy the Akmals

Nitin Sundar

Good old commentators, they sure love to over-analyse everything. What about the players?

Not quite.

Australia have cocked a snook at all the talk about Twenty20 being a young man's game. They've sent out the dads' army to this World T20. They've also done away with the green-and-golds. 'Down with convention' seems to be their credo.

Pakistan got off to an edgy start for the second time in two games.

Rameez Raja livened up proceedings by talking about the tips he'd given Ahmed Shehzad before the game.

Almost on cue, Shehzad got out.

Considering he's not played a T20I since February 2012, he's probably catching a snooze at home. Pakistan were two-down for not much, bringing the Akmal brothers together.

Umar Akmal looked ominous from the time he walked out. His urgency put the pressure back on Australia, whose old boys struggled on the field. The bowling was ragged too.

There were several theories to explain Australia's shoddiness.

It took a smart running catch from David Warner to end the Akmal partnership.

Shoaib Maqsood didn't last long, but Umar kept playing rousing strokes.

The delirious hitting had it's impact on the commentary box as well.

Umar fell short of a 100, but it was arguably the best T20I innings played by a Pakistan batsman. Australia needed 192.

Australia's chase got off to a horror start, with left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar trumping Warner and Shane Watson in his opening over.

Physco batting is always a problem, Shane.

Who likes it the most when Australia are in strife?

Glenn Maxwell changed all that in the matter of 20 minutes with a spell of sustained, audacious big-hitting.

Bilawal Bhatti came on for the eighth over. It disappeared for 30 runs, including a beamer that missed everyone and ran away to the boundary.

For a while, it looked like Maxwell could do no wrong. His batting was so distracting that it allowed a bad science joke slip into this report.

It was Pakistan's turn to start stuffing it in the field. First Kamran Akmal dropped one behind the stumps, and then Saeed Ajmal let one go in the deep.

Pakistan found the break just in time. Maxwell holed out, with Australia still 66 runs away.

Bailey walked out with a smile, struggled to get the ball away, and then had his stumps scattered by Afridi.

Pakistan were right back in it. And just like that, they somehow managed to lift their fielding standards. Ajmal held a screamer at cover to send Brad Hodge back.

You have to say commentators have had better games than this one.

Ajmal, who'd been hammered by Maxwell in his first couple of overs, bowled a nerveless final over - the 18th of the innings. It included the wicket of Aaron Finch.

Just when you thought you'd seen everything in the first 39 overs of the day ...

Bhatti held his nerve. Haddin couldn't pull it off - after all, it wasn't an Ashes Test. Aubrey Faulkner might have made a difference, mind.

Nitin Sundar is social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Nitin Sundar

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by London_Meistry on (April 3, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

I must say I miss Jarrod Kimber and his writing, where art thou?

Posted by ImonG on (March 25, 2014, 9:01 GMT)

Is Glenn Maxwell the new Sir Jadeja ?? Cutting knife with butter ?? Rofl .....

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (March 24, 2014, 20:36 GMT)

Come on boys, calm heads & don't panic please !!!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

pak deserved to win maxwekk played excelent knock but pak came back strongly

Posted by hellothereeveryone on (March 24, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

It was a fun match to watch even if you are not from Pak or Aus!

Posted by freako11 on (March 24, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

Hilarious :D..Its just so much fun being a Pakistani & a Pakistani fan :)

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 24, 2014, 1:23 GMT)

My favourit: Glenn Maxwell could probably even get into the Netherlands side at this rate!

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

my favourite # report is back! shud b done 4 all imp. matches! bailey tweets were awesome!

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

Very good run down of the match.

Posted by   on (March 23, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

That's why all neutrals become Pakistani fans. Even Indian team was cheering at their astonishing or childish performance. :P

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