Australia overwhelm Pakistan to reach semis
Adelaide: Putting up an impressive show, Australia bowled out Pakistan for 213 in 49.5 overs in the third quarterfinal of the cricket World Cup at the Adelaide Oval here on Friday.
Electing to bat, Pakistan struggled from the beginning. Right-handed openers Ahmed Shehzad (5) and Sarfraz Ahmed (10) lost their wickets by playing bad shots.
Sarfraz chased an away moving delivery from pacer Mitchell Starc to offer a diving catch to Shane Watson at the slips. Shehzad also fell soon. The 23-year-old played away from the body and gave a regulation catch to Michael Clarke at the slips off pacer Josh Hazzlewood.
Later, several batsmen got starts but failed to make it count and that proved detrimental for Pakistan.
With his team at 24/2 in the sixth over, skipper and ever reliable Misbah-ul-Haq (34) joined young Haris Sohail (41) in the middle. The right-left combination exercised damage control with a 73-run stand for the third wicket.
Misbah, who will quit One-Day International (ODI) cricket after this World Cup, seemed to have once again turned out to be the saviour. A flourishing partnership stabilised things for Pakistan.
But the 40-year-old Misbah attempted a slog-sweep off spinner Glenn Maxwell that failed to clear Aaron Finch at deep mid-wicket. The skipper left the scene with his team in a spot of bother at 97/3 in the 24th over.
Settled Sohail followed his captain to the pavilion very soon as he ended up edging a Mitchell Johnson bouncer into the hands of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
With these two wickets, Pakistan were pushed on the backfoot and failed to recover. Talented Umar Akmal (20) also failed to get it going, while veteran Shahid Afridi played true to his character.
Irrespective of his team’s poor condition, the former captain swung his bat at will and made a 15-ball 23. Often blamed as someone who does not show responsibility, Afridi was holed out at deep mid-wicket off a Hazzlewood delivery.
Sohaib Maqsood (29), Wahab Riaz (16) and Ehsan Adil (15) ensured that Pakistan crossed the 200-run mark.
For Australia, Hazzlewood was the pick of the lot as he picked four wickets for 35 runs in hus full quota of 10 overs. Left-armer Starc and Maxwell picked two wickets apiece. Seamers Johnson and James Faulkner took a wicket each.
Brief scores: Pakistan 213 all out in 49.5 overs (Haris Sohail 41, Misbah-ul-Haq 34; Josh Hazzlewood 4-35, Mitchell Starc 2-40, Glenn Maxwell 2-43) vs Australia.