| Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal celebrate the dismissal of Michael Hussey, in Dubai, on Wednesday |
Dubai: Sohail Tanvir guided Pakistan to a crushing seven-wicket victory over Australia in their first Twenty20 match on Wednesday, restricting the opposition to their second lowest total ever in the format.
It was an easy win for Pakistan after going down 2-1 in the preceding one-day series.
Shoaib Malik hit the winning boundary, finishing with nine not out while Kamran Akmal finished with an unbeaten 31 with three boundaries and a six. The victory was never in doubt once Pakistan bowled well. Hafeez (17) and Imran Nazir (22) gave Pakistan a solid start of 30 before losing Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed (10) in quick succession.
Akmal and Malik saw off the target without any discomfort. The second match will be played here on Friday.
Earlier, Pakistan put in an outstanding all-round effort with the ball and in the field, to restrict Australia to a meagre 89 on Wednesday.
According to cricinfo, this was Australia’s second-lowest T20 total of all time and their lowest since they were skittled for 79 by England in Southampton seven years ago, in what was the second T20 international ever played.
Saeed Ajmal, Mohammed Hafeez and the debutant Raza Hasan each picked up two wickets and the regular breakthroughs, combined with the large boundaries, starved Australia of runs.
It was the first Australia failed to hit a six in a T20 match since another game against Pakistan in Dubai, back in May 2009, and they managed only three fours, all of which came from the openers Shane Watson and David Warner.
Pakistan picked up early wickets and applied pressure throughout the innings, taking their catches and rotating the bowlers to deprive the batsmen of the chance to settle. The Australians had entered the game with a long batting line-up but it did little for their chances in the match as only three men reached double figures.
Warner top scored with 22 from 25 balls, an innings that at the time looked scratchy but was solid when compared with the rest of the performances. Warner was the third man to fall when he pushed a catch back to the bowler Hafeez, after the innings had started shakily when Watson was trapped in front by Umar Gul for eight.
Promoted to No.3, Michael Hussey chipped a catch to cover when he failed to pick Tanvir’s slower ball. Warner and George Bailey provided a slight recovery with a 33-run stand before Warner went, and that was followed soon after by Hasan’s first international wicket, which came when David Hussey failed to clear the man at long on.