Australia cruise to victory after Watson fireworks
Shane Watson hit a superb 81 from just 49 delivers as he shared a 3rd wicket partnership of 98 with David Hussey to help Australia record a comprehensive 34 run victory over the defending champions.
Faced with a massive run chase of 192 Pakistan got off to the worst possible start losing three early wickets to give the Aussies control of the game. Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi smashed a quick fire 33 but it wasnít enough to claim victory.
The Aussies got of to a fantastic start thanks to an aggressive opening stand by David Warner and Shane Watson who attacked the Pakistan bowlers showing why they are two of the most feared Twenty20 players in the world.
Warner found the boundary from the second ball of the innings to set the tone for his and Australiaís innings. Watson followed suit smashing Mohammad Hafeez for a six and a four in the third over as the Aussies accelerated quickly during the power play overs.
By the end of the 5th over, which Mohammad Aamer had conceded 11 runs from the opening partnership had reached 48 with Warner and Watson looking untroubled as the defending champs powerless to steam the flow runs.
Thankfully for Pakistanís sake Warner tried one shot too many in the next over which was bowled by Mohammad Sami. The Aussies top edge a delivery to Umar Akmal on the square leg boundary who took the easy catch.
It was just the breakthrough Pakistan needed and they soon had reason to celebrate again after skipper Michael Clark (2) was bowled by Mohammad Hafeez at the end of the 7th over to leave the Aussies 67-2.
Despite the loss of Warner and Clarke, Watson carried on regardless smashing consecutive sixes in ninth over to bring up a well deserved half century.
Watson, together with new partner David Hussey continued to attack the Pakistan bowlers. With the foundations already built for a big score and with wickets in hand the pair went on the rampage building a partnership of 98 from just 50 balls.
After suffering a disappointing IPL tournament with the Kolkata Knight Riders Hussey showed why he is still one of the world best Twenty20 players smashing 4 sixes off the bowling of Mohammad Sami in the 15th over.
Eventfully the defending champs halted the onslaught thanks to Saeed Ajmal who removed Hussey (53) and Watson (81) in the space of 4 balls in the next over.
The wickets of Hussey and Watson gave the momentum to Pakistan who capitalised by dismissing Cameron White (9) in the 18th before Mohammad Aamer amazingly bowled a 5 wicket maiden over to end the game.
Brad Haddin (1) was the first to when he was caught by Mohammad Sami, Mitchell Johnson (0) was clean bowled before Hussey (17) was run out as was Steven Smith (0). Shaun Tait then managed to survive Mohammad Aamerís 5th delivery before the bowler ended the game by bowling Tait (0) to complete a wild innings.
Despite the loss of 5 wickets in a crazy final over Australia were still happy having set Pakistan a total of 192 despite being bowled out. The only concern for the Aussies during the break was if Pakistan took the momentum they had built in the last couple of overs into their run chase.
After such a fantastic innings the by Watson the Aussies werenít going to waste a golden opportunity to beat the defending champs and they struck back almost instantly at the start of Pakistanís innings when Kamran Akmal (0) was caught by Smith from the second delivery of Dirk Nannes opening over.
Salman Butt (15) and Mohammad Hafeez (12) soon followed Akmal back into the dugout as Pakistanís run chase had got off to the worst possible start having been reduced to 34-3 after just 4.2 overs..
Umar Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a 4th wicket partnership of 36 which gave the defending champs so hope but Akmal (18) threw away his wicket with a horrible swipe outside of leg stump which resulted in the ball being sliced to Hussey at deep point who took the catch at the second attempt to leave Pakistan 70-4.
Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi came to the crease with the task in hand getting harder and harder with the defending champs needing another 122 runs from 11 overs.
Afridi got his inning off to a stylish start smashing Smith for two boundaries and a six to give Pakistan some hope but when he was bowled by Tait two overs later the Pakistanis were left staring defeat in the face
Abdul Razzaq (1), Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Aamer (2), Fawad Alam (16) and Saeed Ajmal (4) soon followed to as Pakistan slumped to a heavy defeat.
Australia will now go into their final group game against Bangladesh full of confidence knowing victory will guarantee them a place in the Super Eights. Pakistan meanwhile will also have to wait for the result as Bangladesh victory could knock the defending champs out.