Adelaide | Pakistan failed to set Australia a difficult target after being all out for 213 and their captain Misbah-ul-Haq lamented poor shot selection from his batsmen after losing the World Cup quarter-final to co-hosts Australia today.
After opting to bat first, Pakistan lost both openers cheaply but managed to steady their innings through a 73-run stand between Misbah (34) and Haris Sohail (41).
Both batsmen played rash shots to throw away the good work, however, with Misbah trying to clear the short square boundary against part-time off-spinner Glenn Maxwell and Haris chasing a widish delivery to edge Mitchell Johnson to Brad Haddin.
Umar Akmal (20) and Shahid Afridi (23) got starts before they also fell trying to hit sixes over the same area Misbah tried to clear, all three holing out to Aaron Finch in the outfield.
‘At one stage, 270-280 was pretty much on but we just kept losing wickets, some bad shot selections and that really cost us,’ Misbah said at the presentation ceremony. While Pakistan threw away their initiative with rash shots, Shane Watson and Steven Smith did the exact opposite for Australia, who romped home by six wickets, by spending time at the wicket.
Wahab Riaz, who was lauded by both captains for a fantastic spell of fast bowling when he had Watson jumping around the crease, had reduced Australia to 59 for three but the duo kept their composure to add 89 runs and put the team back on course. Smith was out lbw for 65 but Watson, who was dropped on four off Wahab, remained unbeaten on 64.
‘Credit to Pakistan and Wahab Riaz for the way he came out and bowled and certainly put us under pressure,’ Australia captain Michael Clarke said. ‘I think that’s the fastest spell I have seen in a long time. The way Shane Watson hung in there I thought was fantastic. Steve Smith looked classy once again today. So I am proud of the boys.’
It was also a successful return for Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood to the team. The right-arm paceman replaced Pat Cummins and walked away with the man-of-the-match award for his figures of four for 35.
‘It was great to be back in the side. I’ve been bowling well all week so it was good to put in a good game. It’s quite a long tournament and happy to get a game today,’ the 24-year-old said.
‘The wicket was quite good as we saw all game. Keeping them to 213 was perfect for us and then the boys did well with the bat. We’re going well in all aspects.’
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