Aussies do enough to advance despite loss

Australia

Pakistan pulled off a wonderful performance against Australia in Colombo to keep their semi-final hopes alive, sending the Aussies to their first defeat of the tournament by an emphatic 32 runs.

Pakistan pulled off a wonderful performance against Australia in Colombo to keep their semi-final hopes alive, sending the Aussies to their first defeat of the tournament by an emphatic 32 runs.

The result meant that South Africa were knocked out of the event, as they needed Australia to win, while George Bailey's side advanced as they scored enough runs in their chase, making 117 for seven in chasing the 150 required for victory.

At one stage, the Aussies' mini-target of 112 to advance to the semis looked in danger as the Pakistan spinners once against reduced them to rubble, but a wonderful 54 not out from Mr Cricket, Mike Hussey, made sure they could breathe easily.

Fast bowler Mitchell Starc was the stand-out bowler for the Aussies, taking three vital wickets, including Mohammad Hafeez with the score on five, and giving away only 20 runs in his four overs as Pakistan made 149 for six.

Nasir Jamshed was the only batsman to record a fifty, but even his going was rather slow as the Aussie spinners did well in the middle overs. Jamshed was eventually out for 55 off 46 balls, caught by David Warner off Xavier Doherty.

The score was pushed to a decent total by a nifty Kamran Akmal cameo, as he made 32 off 26 balls before holing out in the covers off Starc, and he was so disgusted with himself that he took ages to leave the field.

The other Pakistan batsmen could not get going though, and even the usually fluid Umar Akmal made only nine not out off eight balls as they could not push the pace against a disciplined bowling attack.

The total was more than enough in the end though, as Australia's openers, particularly Shane Watson, endured a rare failure. Watson, the tournament's top scorer, was out for eight, trapped LBW by Raza Hasan, who took two for 14 in his four overs.

David Warner was also out early, while the Australian middle order, so under used in this tournament, were not able to prove that the Aussies are not heavily reliant on Watson, with Bailey, Cameron White and Glenn Maxwell all failing.

In the end, Hussey didn't even try to get the winnings runs, and celebrated as though he had when they passed the 112 mark, which allowed them to advance to the final four without worrying about the India vs South Africa match.

Australia: Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, George Bailey, Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Brad Hogg, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan

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