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Pakistan's summer of woe continues at the MCG

Australia handed Twenty20 World Cup champions Pakistan their 9th defeat of a woeful summer tour down under thanks to a nail biting 2 run victory at the MCG as the hosts successfully defended a total of just 127.

Pakistan were set a total of just 128 thanks in part to a batting collapse by the Aussies who lost 5 wickets for just 29 runs to give the world champs the advantage.

Pakistan lost openers Imran Nazir (0) and Imran Farhat (8) cheaply at the start of their run chase and based on their form throughout the summer they did well not to surrender their advantage to the Aussies.

Kamran Akmal provided the backbone for Pakistan, the wicket keeper had a point to prove after suffering a very poor tour and once he arrived at the crease with Pakistan in trouble he never let the Aussies increase their hold on the game.

Akmal was well supported by Khalid Latif as he dispatched the pace duo of Tait and Nannes around the MCG. Although Latif only lasted 8 balls he rotated the strike to allow Akmal to score 28 runs off just 17 balls before he was trapped him LBW by Shane Watson.

Stand in skipper Shoaib Malik joined Akmal at the crease and contributed just 3 runs from 11 balls before he was caught by Travis Birt to give Shaun Tait his second wicket of the night to leave Pakistan 59-4.

Akmal continued his assault aided by Umar Akmal and the pair started the task of scoring the runs needed to give Pakistan their first win of the summer. With the winning line in site Kamran Akmal (64) threw away his wicket giving David Hussey an easy catch at mid on to leave Pakistan 98-5.

After taking the wicket of Akmal Australia could now sense a chance for victory and they quickly removed Fawad Alam (1) and Naved-ul-Hasan (1) in quick succession to leave Pakistan needing another 21 runs from 16 balls with only three wickets in hand.

Umar Gul wasted no time at all hitting the first ball he faced at the crease for a huge six off the bowling of Steven Smith to give Pakistan some hope before Dirk Nannes added to the tension conceding just 2 runs from his final over.

He also took the wicket of Gul who bizarrely walked across his stumps to flick Nannes away to fine leg but could only watch as his middle stump was removed.

Watson was given the task of bowling the final over and the tense atmosphere inside the MCG was increased when Umar Akmal was caught by David Warner out on the boundary off Watsons first ball to leave Pakistan needing another 10 runs.

Watson held his nerve bowling a mixture of pace and cutters to as Pakistan ended 2 runs short to complete a tour to forgot for the Twenty20 World champs.

Earlier Michael Clarke won the toss for Australia and elected to bat first hoping to inflict further damage to Pakistan's confidence after a truly woeful tour but it was the tourists who struck the first blow of the night.

David Warner and Shane Watson settled in at the crease scoring 11 runs off the first 11 balls before Watson was brilliantly ran out by Umar Akmal at backward point after the opener decided to go for third run.

Warner was joined at the crease by Clarke and the pair started to build a productive partnership as the Aussies looked to have survived the early loss of Watson.

The pair had built a partnership of 36 before Warner was caught by Imran Nazir at deep point of the bowling of Mohammad Asif for 24.

The wicket of Warner fired up the Pakistan bowlers and Clarke (32) soon followed Warner back to the pavilion after being brilliantly caught by Fawad Alam at point to give Umar Gul his first wicket of the night leaving the Aussies 68-3.

With the lose of two quick wickets David Hussey and Cameron White found themselves at the crease needing to continue the good start made by Warner and Clarke in order to set a defendable total.

Pakistan had over ideas though thanks to another brilliant run out. Umar Gul surprised White with a short delivery which White appeared to glove to Fawad Alam at point but while the rest of his team appealed for the catch Alam coolly ran White out for 4.

The lose of White signaled an Aussies collapse with Travis Birt (1) Brad Haddin (1), Steve Smith (8), Mitchell; Johnson (2) and Dirk Nannes all going cheaply to leave the home side 119-9.

With 14 balls left in their innings David Hussey was the Aussies last hope of reaching a defendable total and the veteran didn't waste much time hitting Saeed Ajmal for 6 over wide on to finish the 17th over.

The rear guard action didn't last long as Gul picked up his third wicket of the night as Shaun Tait added to the Aussies list of batting failure after he was caught by Alam for 1 to leave the Pakistan on top for the first time this summer.

source - cricket20.com
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