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Match reports

Australia v Pakistan

15-Apr-2005
At Amstelveen, August 28. Australia won by 17 runs. Toss: Australia.
Delayed 90 minutes by drizzle, this game evolved into a low-scoring fizzer. On a slow pitch, Pakistan had their noses in front twice before the Australian machine won their fifth successive one-day tournament, a sequence including the World Cup. Disciplined early bowling, especially from Mohammad Sami, kept the usually browbeating Australian top order quiet. Consolidation came after Lehmann joined Hayden, who laboured for 105 balls to reach 50. Lehmann used his tactical nous to work the ball into gaps, before Symonds lashed it around to propel his side to 192. Pakistan began just as steadily, and at 93 for three were almost cruising. But the run-outs of Shoaib Malik and the dangerous Shahid Afridi off consecutive deliveries - with Yousuf Youhana the guilty partner both times - undermined hopes which finally crumbled when Youhana himself fell, with 32 needed off 45 and no one left to graft. Pakistanis were furious at the dismissals of Youhana and Inzamam-ul-Haq, both given out caught by umpire Shepherd. Chairman of selectors Wasim Bari said the decisions were like "target killings" and that it was "time for the inaccurate Shepherd to retire. His decisions were not only doubtful but disgraceful." This view was endorsed by Pakistan's most famous cricket columnist Omar Kureishi. "He [Shepherd] is an old man and his judgment in the final was very poor," he wrote. Shepherd was 63; Kureishi 77.
Man of the Match: A. Symonds.