Australia seal bizarre win

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A double-wicket maiden in the final over from Glenn Maxwell saw Australia complete a one-run victory and a 3-0 series whitewash over Pakistan in a remarkable one-day international in Abu Dhabi.

The visitors looked like they had blown it when, with Pakistan eight wickets down and needing 24 for victory, they failed to appeal a run-out by James Faulkner, who dislodged the bails at the second attempt after failing with his first to dismiss Zulfiqar Babar.

Australia, who made 231 for nine in their 50 overs, failed to appeal, feeling they had missed their chance.

Replays showed that Zulfiqar was in fact inches short and it looked like Pakistan would take advantage as they slowly chalked off the runs needed for the win.

With just two runs needed from the final over, though, Maxwell – whose 76 with the bat had helped his side with the second ODI – this time bowled Sohail Tanvir and sent down three dot balls at number 11 Mohammed Irfan before having the pace bowler caught off the final ball to complete a remarkable triumph.

Earlier in the day, Australia had made an unusually conservative start and Anwar Ali made the breakthrough in his second over as Aaron Finch chipped to mid-on for a 34-ball 18.

A maximum off Zulfiqar aside, David Warner continued to play conservatively until he went in the 22nd over, when Shahid Afridi’s slower delivery caused the opener to mistime his shot and hit straight back at the bowler for 56.

Skipper George Bailey lasted just three balls after he sliced to Ahmed Shehzad off Irfan to leave the visitors 103 for three in the 23rd over.

Steve Smith and Maxwell went about rebuilding the innings, but Pakistan again struck at just the right time as Maxwell slog-swept to Umar Amin off Afridi for 20.

Phil Hughes fell lbw to Tanvir for five before Brad Haddin was run out for two thanks to a direct hit by Ali.

At 159 for six Australia were firmly on the back foot, although Smith, who had just passed 50, was still at the crease.

Faulkner is used to attacking from the off when coming to the crease but with his side in a precarious position, the all rounder did not find the boundary until his 24th delivery.

Four balls later Smith was gone for 77 after he was bowled by Tanvir, before Faulkner smashed a trademark six back over the bowler’s head.

Mitchell Starc was run out for five before Tanvir picked up his third wicket, bowling Faulkner for 33 with the first ball of the final over.

Pakistan – with the experienced Misbah-ul-Haq sitting out – were equally conservative with just five boundaries in the first 10 overs, though Shehzad hit two consecutively off Faulkner in the eighth.

And just an over later the home side lost their first wicket when Shehzad was bowled by Xavier Doherty, cutting when the delivery was too full.

Sarfraz Ahmed was then run out for 32 to leave Pakistan 80 for two in the 18th over.

Two wickets became three when Smith showed tremendous anticipation to move from first slip to leg slip when he saw Fawad Alam move into position to sweep, to take the catch off Doherty.

Asad Shafiq and Sohaib Maqsood put on a much-needed 74-run partnership before the latter fell for 34, caught by Warner off the bowling of Kane Richardson.

With Pakistan’s history of dramatic batting collapses to spur them on, Australia picked up a fifth wicket with 72 runs still needed when Shafiq was trapped in front by Faulkner.

With stability a necessity, Afridi once again failed to provide it, inexplicably mis-timing a pull shot to mid-on Smith off Richardson.

Umar Amin was bowled by Starc for 19 and Anwar Ali (14) was caught by Maxwell off Faulkner before the game played out to an incredible conclusion.

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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