Australia dismantle Pakistan
Australia cruised to a 34-run victory over defending champions Pakistan, despite Mohammad Aaemar’s five-wicket maiden over, in their first game of the ICC World Twenty20.
Set an imposing 192 to win, Pakistan never looked like reaching the target after losing early wickets in the Group A clash at the Beausejour Stadium in St Kitts.
Shane Watson top-scored with 81 and David Hussey blasted 53 before Aaemar’s incredible 20th over kept Australia below 200.
It included two run outs and three wickets for the 18-year left-arm seamer, who claimed a three-wicket haul along with Saeed Ajmal, plus Australia new-ball pair Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait.
After Australia captain Michael Clarke chose to bat first, Watson and David Warner eased into their stride, taking 17 from a Mohammad Hafeez over.
Mohammad Sami had Warner caught at deep square-leg for 26 and Hafeez bowled Clarke cheaply, but Hussey smashed two sixes off Shahid Afridi in quick succession as Australia accelerated.
Hussey and Watson moved through the gears and the former flayed Mohammad Sami for four maximums, three consecutively, in the 16th over.
Hussey was caught in the deep and Watson trapped in front in the next, bowled by Ajmal, and Cameron White holed out in the spinner’s final over.
Australia’s last over saw Brad Haddin caught at third man, Mitchell Johnson yorked, Steve Smith and Nannes run out, a dot ball and last man Tait bowled.
Pakistan’s chase began badly when Nannes had Kamran Akmal held at third man from the first legitimate ball of the innings.
Salman Butt miscued Tait to mid-on on 15, Hafeez located deep square-leg off Johnson for 12 and Umar Akmal sliced Smith to deep point on 18.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Afridi rebuilt built with 44 and 31 respectively, but Tait bowled Afridi off his pads and Abdul Razzaq holed out to long-off against Nannes.
Misbah’s departure, when he skied Nannes, realistically ended any lingering hopes Pakistan had of building on yesterday’s win over Bangladesh.
Aaemar gifted Smith his second wicket, caught at mid-off, Johnson had Fawad Alam held at long-off for 16 and Tait yorked Ajmal to dismiss Pakistan in 20 overs.