Videocon Cup: Australia defeat Pak by 17 runs

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia have won the Videocon Cup tri-nation series defeating Pakistan by 17 runs in the final in Amsterdam today.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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Australia have won the Videocon Cup tri-nation series defeating Pakistan by 17 runs in the final in Amsterdam today. Electing to bat first, Australia made 192 with the loss of seven wickets. But Pakistan lost out on the seemingly easy task, and were bowled out for 175. Andrew Symonds, who scored 36 runs, took two wickets and was responsible for two crucial run-outs, has been awarded the Man of the Match. Asked to chase 193 on a deteriorating wicket, Pakistan seemed well on course at 154 for 5 in the 42nd over before the critical stand between Yousuf Youhana (43) and Abdur Razzaq (26) was broken and Australia tightened the screws around them. Pakistan kept bouncing back in the game and showed remarkable spirit even when they two lost two critical run outs off successive balls in the middle of their innings to brilliant work in the field by the Australians. First, Shoaib Malik was done in by an underhand throw by Andrew Symonds at the non-strikers end and then off the very next ball, the fielder hurled a sharp return to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to catch the newcomer Shahid Afridi (0) short of his ground. Pakistan, seemingly cruising at 93 for 3 in the 30th over all of a sudden had five of their top order batsmen back in the pavilion. But they took the setback in the stride when Youhana and Razzaq were involved in an exhilarating stand. Wickets tumble The two put on 57 runs for the sixth wicket before Razzaq fell to a catch in the deep off Darren Lehmann and then Youhana was wrongly adjudged caught behind the wicket when the ball had clearly come off his thigh pads. Razzaq made 26 from 33 balls with one four while Youhanas innings of 43 took him 57 balls and contained three fours and a six. Pakistan needed 21 runs from the last four overs with three wickets in hand but collapsed all too quickly to lose by 17 runs with nearly three overs to spare. Two-paced pitch Earlier, the Aussie batsmen found the going tough on the difficult at two-paced pitch of the VRA Ground as they struggled to put together 192 runs from their stipulated 50 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat. The world champions were aided by patient batting by Matthew Hayden at the top and a good deal of improvisation by Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds in the middle to reach a respectable total. Slow start The Aussies got off to a slow start and lost the wicket of opener Brad Haddin in the ninth over of the innings. He was bowled by Mohammad Sami for 10. Haddin's dismissal brought skipper Rickey Ponting on the crease. He, along with Matthew Hayden, consolidated the Aussie innings. The two added 44 runs for the second wicket, before Ponting (25) was sent packing by Abdul Razzaq. Hayden and Lehmann then took the Aussie innings forward, adding 61 valuable runs to the total, before Hayden was dismissed by speedster Shoaib Akhtar in the 37th over. Sensible batting Symonds and Lehmann batted sensibly to add another 57 runs to the Aussie total. However, Lehmann's dismissal in the 49th over offset a mini collapse. The Australians lost three wickets, that of Symonds, Michael Clarke and Brad Hogg, in the last over of the innings. Shoaib Akhtar picked three for 40 but Mohammad Sami (1-26) and Shabbir Ahmed (1-25) troubled the Australians more. The start was delayed by an hour and a half but the match was fixed for 50 overs a side, for the first time in the tournament after the truncated series opener and the wash out of two league matches.
(With PTI inputs)

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