Australia beats Pakistan by four wickets - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia beats Pakistan by four wickets

By Adam Cooper 16/01/2005 08:22:01 PM Comments (0)

Michael Clarke and Australia's fringe players showed injury presents more opportunity than headache for the world champions in the tri-series win over Pakistan at Bellerive Oval.

Set a revised target of 253 in 45 overs after a 40-minute rain delay, Australia cruised home with 12 balls to spare to win by four wickets after Clarke, Simon Katich and Brad Haddin all grabbed hold of rare opportunities in the spotlight.

Man-of-the-match Clarke smashed 97 from 96 balls and put on a perfectly timed opening stand of 107 with Katich (38), as the pair rallied in the absence of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, who were rested and injured respectively.

Haddin benefited from Gilchrist's enforced lay-off through a knee injury by coolly stroking 30 from 30 balls to ensure there was no more histrionics after Australia fell to 5-186 with 67 needed off the last 12 overs.

Darren Lehmann finished 49 not out as Australia won its second match from two starts to leave the winless West Indies and Pakistan - who play in Adelaide on Wednesday - in their wake.

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi also sparkled by clobbering an unbeaten 56 from 26 balls in his side's total of 7-272 off 50 overs.

But significantly, the tourists were denied his explosive powers until the final six overs of the innings on a dream wicket and a stiff breeze aiding batsmen chasing the short boundary.

Clarke now averages 89 as a one-day opener, but conceded the role could end as soon as Friday, when Hayden and Gilchrist are expected to play the Windies in Brisbane.

"Fortunately for Australian cricket, Matthew Hayden is coming back in in Brisbane and Gilly's hopefully going to be fit, so I guess that means I'll be back to No.7," he said.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting could not foresee Clarke opening with both Hayden and Gilchrist playing, but was delighted the youngster followed his 66 in Melbourne on Friday with another quality knock.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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