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The Electronic Telegraph Australia v Pakistan, Group-B
Peter Deeley at Headingley - 23 May 1999

Pakistanis succeed with furious finale

Pakistan (275-8) bt Australia (265) by 10 runs

Pakistan emerged from the chill gloom of a northern evening to confirm their place in the Super Sixes and post a warning to all rivals, South Africa included.

Shoaib Akhtar shows his delight as Pakistan defeat Australia.

Australia's second defeat in four days means they must win their last two games against Bangladesh and West Indies if they are certain to progress.

After two wins, this was the first major test of Pakistan's capabilities. Australia, lack-lustre until now, lifted themselves but paid for playing only four mainstream bowlers: 25 runs conceded by Damien Martyn in two overs probably made the difference.

Pakistan benefited from a huge following among the 15,000 crowd. The crescent moon flags overwhelmed the few Australian fans and even nearby roofs and chimneys tops were crowded with green-shirted supporters.

Such fervour brings problems. A premature invasion followed the ninth Australian wicket and four stumps were stolen. Order restored, Wasim Akram promptly bowled Glenn McGrath with one ball left to collect his fourth wicket of the innings.

Australia made the worst possible start, Adam Gilchrist bowled third ball by Wasim Akram. Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting - badly dropped by Inzamam-ul-Haq at slip - added 91 before Moin Khan took a brilliant one-handed catch to dismiss Waugh.

Pakistan seemed to take control when Saqlain Mushtaq took two wickets in three balls. Ponting swept the off-spinner into the hands of the legside catcher on the edge of the circle and Darren Lehmann top-edged another sweep.

Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan struck a 113-run partnership for the fifth wicket but as soon as Wasim came back Bevan was taken at point after scoring 61 off 80 balls.

Then in the half-light the lightning Shoaib Akhtar ripped through the Australian captain's defence when he was one short of his half-century.

Pakistan, put in to bat, had got off to a familiar stuttering start. Paul Reiffel was hammered for six boundaries in his first four overs but removed the dangerous Saeed Anwar when he flicked down legside.

Reduced to 46 for three, Pakistan could hardly afford another wicket but almost handed it to Australia when Inzamam and Abdul Razzaq were involved in a farcical run-out scare.

The bulky Inzamam was the tortoise to Razzaq's hare in their 132-run stand. Their worst moment came when both arrived at the same end and set off together for the other. Inzamam only survived as batsmen and fielders floundered.

After hitting Shane Warne for six, Razzaq was caught in the deep trying to repeat the feat: then the attack on the Australian bowling began in earnest.

No less than 108 came off the last 10 overs. There were five sixes, Glenn McGrath going for three as Moin Khan swung to deadly effect, hitting an unbeaten 31 off 12 balls.

Yousuf Youhana showed that stroke play has a part in this 'carnival' cricket, scoring four immaculate boundaries in his 29 from 16 balls before falling another run out victim to Inzamam's immobility. Still, with 81 off 104 balls, Inzamam won the game's individual award presumably not for his running.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk