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Aussies on brink after Pakistan loss

Pre-tournament favourites Australia are in danger of seeing their World Twenty20 campaign fall short of the semi-final stage after suffering a six-wicket loss to Pakistan.

A century partnership between captain Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq powered an initially-shaky Pakistan reply past their target of 164 with five balls to spare.

Having been put into bat Australia also got off to an unconvincing start with Matthew Hayden lobbing an easy catch to Younes Khan off the bowling of Tanvir Sohail in the second over.

Adam Gilchrist (24) was soon followed back to the dressing room after a mistimed drive was snaffled up by Mohammad Hafeez.

Andrew Symonds looked in ominous form as he clattered a series of boundaries on his way to a quicksilver 29, but the leg spin of Shahid Afridi lured him into an ill-advised heave through long-on and Pakistan had disposed of another potential match-winner.

Ricky Ponting (27), Michael Hussey (37) and Brad Hodge (36) all failed to kick on towards three figures after promising starts as their innings spluttered to a halt with only 14 runs gathered from the final three overs.

Stuart Clark rocked Pakistan's openers when introduced to the attack and, after building a solid start at 25-0, Imran Nazir and Hafeez both surrendered their wickets in the first over of his medium pace.

But Malik and Misbah soon bedded down and when, needing 13 runs off the final two overs, the latter crashed a huge six of Nathan Bracken the result was all but inevitable.

Mailk and Misbah finished on 52 and 66 not out respectively while Australia must beat Sri lanka in their next Super Eight game to make the semi-finals.

source - inthenews.co.uk
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