World Twenty20 16th match: Akmal proves too much for Australia to handle

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Akmal hammered nine boundaries and four sixes during his career-best knock of 94

Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal struck a career-best 94 to lead his side to a 16-run win over Australia in Mirpur.

However, Australia opener Aaron Finch and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell both deserve credit as well as they scored quickfire half-centuries.

Australia captain George Bailey would have been jumping for joy with his decision to bowl first as Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad was caught and bowled by Doug Bollinger for five runs.

Mohammad Hafeez scored 13 runs before he was clean bowled by Shane Watson.

Kamran and Umar Akmal stabilised the innings with a brilliant 96-run partnership, during which Umar Akmal brought up his half-century, before Kamran Akmal was caught by David Warner at deep point off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile for 31.

Shoaib Maqsood only made five runs before he was clean bowled by Coulter-Nile.

Umar Akmal ended up making a career-best 94 before he was caught by Maxwell at long-on off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.

Akmal’s, outstanding knock of 94 came off 54 balls and included nine boundaries and four sixes.

Thanks to Akmal, Pakistan eventually made 191/5 off their 20 overs.

Coulter-Nile was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Watson, Bollinger and Starc chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 192 to win, Australia got off to an awful start as Warner was clean bowled by Zulfiqar Babar for four.

Watson also made four runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Babar.

Finch and Maxwell steadied the innings with a magnificent 118-run partnership, during which Maxwell made his half-century, before he was caught by Shehzad at deep square leg off the bowling of Shahid Afridi.

Maxwell’s career-best score of 74 came off 33 deliveries and included seven boundaries and six maximums.

Bailey failed to help his team out as he was cleaned up by Afridi for four runs.

Brad Hodge only scored two runs before he was caught by Saeed Ajmal at deep point off the bowling of Umar Gul.

Finch went on to score 65 off 54 balls, which included seven boundaries and two sixes, before he was clean bowled by Ajmal.

Coulter-Nile failed to trouble the scorers as he had his stumps rearranged by Gul.

Starc only made three runs before he was run out by Afridi.

Brad Haddin scored eight runs before he was caught by Shoaib Malik at deep midwicket off the bowling of Bilawal Bhatti.

Australia were bowled out for 175 when Bhatti shattered Brad Hogg’s stumps.

Babar, Gul, Afridi and Bhatti picked up two wickets apiece, while Ajmal snapped up one.

Bailey was disappointed to have lost the match, especially after the start his side got off to, and said: “The start we had, 40 for 2, I’d have taken that. You just try and play your best bowlers and Pakistan’s spinners bowled very very well and also Umar Gul in the death. Batting and bowling go either way, but fielding was in our hands and we’ve set high standards and we didn’t do well today.”

Hafeez praised Babar and Akmal for their excellent performances, and said: “The only thing I could tell my bowlers when Maxwell was batting was just go there and keep attacking and the spinners, like Zulfiqar Babar did really well. Umar Akmal showed his talent today. He held his nerve very well. He attacked and that’s what we wanted our boys to do.”

Akmal was named Man of the Match.

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