Clarke guides Australia to 27-run win over Pak
Michael Clarke produced a brilliant all-round performance as Australia staged a dramatic recovery to beat Pakistan by 27 runs and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series at the Sheikh Zayed stadium on Monday.cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2009 01:34 IST
Michael Clarke produced a brilliant all-round performance as Australia staged a dramatic recovery to beat Pakistan by 27 runs and take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series at the Sheikh Zayed stadium on Monday.
The captain smashed a solid 66 and then bowling for the first time in the series, snared three wickets to seal victory in the 48th over.
After restricting Australia to a modest 198 for seven, Pakistan appeared in control with openers Salman Butt and Ahmed Shehzad prospering in a solid 95-run stand but against the run of play, Nathan Hauritz changed the complexion of the game.
The off spinner removed Butt (48) and Younis Khan for a duck off successive deliveries. Clarke chipped in with the wickets of Shehzad (40), Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi to bring Australia back into the game.
Former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik (30) dug in for a while but the team did not recover and were bowled out for 171.
"We did the job in the end and that feels great," man-of-the-match Clarke told reporters.
"We did bowl well, but still need to work hard when it comes to batting. We were probably 20 to 30 runs short of our intended target. Full marks to our bowlers, specially the spinners, for doing the job for us."
Australia had struggled to pace their innings in the face of a spot-on Pakistan attack but Clarke provided some solidity along with Callum Ferguson who made a steady 41.
"Ours is a young side and the series will be a good learning curve for them," Pakistan captain Younis said.
"I have always maintained that Australia are the number one side in the world. It showed in their performance on Monday.
"We had our chances in the match, but Australia, in the end, were too good for us," he added.
The fourth one-day international between the two sides is on Friday.