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Aussies get better of Pak by 17 runs

Amsterdam: Australia put up a gutsy performance on a difficult batting track to make 192 for seven against Pakistan in the tri-series final on Saturday.

Electing to bat at the VRA ground, the world champions were aided by patient batting by Matthew Hayden at the top and a good deal of improvisation by Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds in the middle to reach a respectable total.

Hayden made 59, the second half-century of the tournament, off 114 balls and hit four fours in one of his slowest innings.

Lehmann, on the other hand, used the width of the crease intelligently to make a vital 40 that came off 68 balls while striking two fours.

Symonds stamped his class immediately on arrival with a six off Shoaib Malik, the shot was powerful enough to send the ball out of the ground into a nearby canal. Symondsí batting belied the difficulties faced by his teammates early in the innings and he needed only 40 balls for his 36.

Shoaib Akhtar picked three for 40 but Mohammed Sami (one for 26) and Shabbir Ahmed (one for 25) troubled the Australians more.

The start was delayed by an hour and a half, but the match was fixed for 50 overs a side, for the first time in the tournament after the truncated series opener and the washout of two league matches.

The 100 came in the 33rd over and the run-rate hovered at 2.80 for the most part before it picked up towards the end. Only nine fours were struck in the course of the innings besides Symondsí big six.

After the early fall of Brad Haddin, bowled by Sami for 10, Hayden and skipper Ricky Ponting batted their heart out while adding 44 for the second wicket.

Ponting made 25 and was caught at short thirdman while trying to hit through the line.

Damien Martyn was pushed down to No. 6 and Lehmann came ahead. The lefthander did well with his footwork to not allow the spinners to settle down to a rhythm.

After adding 61 with Hayden for the third wicket, Lehmann fetched the three-time world champions 57 with Symonds for the fourth wicket as the run-rate began to shoot up.

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