Pakistan get consolation ODI win over Australia

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Akmal's unbeaten knock of 116 and Misbah-ul-Haq's 76 not out helped Pakistan regain some lost pride with a victory over Australia in their final ODI.

Updated: May 04, 2009 07:24 IST
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Abu Dhabi:

Kamran Akmal's unbeaten century knock of 116 and Misbah-ul-Haq's 76 not out helped Pakistan regain some lost pride with a victory over Australia in their fifth and final One-Day International on Sunday.

Australia had already won the series, which finished 3-2.

A brilliant partnership of 198 runs for the fourth wicket in just 31 overs helped Pakistan engineer a remarkable turnaround, reaching 254-4, after the first three wickets had fallen for 56 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

The batsmen were under pressure after Shane Watson also struck an unbeaten 116 to help Australia post a healthy total of 250 for four on a batsman-friendly wicket.

Watson was ably supported by Brad Haddin (36 from 31 balls) and Callum Ferguson's 41 from 42 balls. Watson hit six fours and two sixes in his 146-ball stay which was much better than his scrappy 85 not out in the last game on Friday.

Watson's century meant Pakistan had to bat at five runs an over for the first time in the low-scoring series. The highest score was 208 by Australia in the second game in Dubai.

But it proved to be a comfortable victory as Akmal helped himself to a fifth ODI century with just 13 boundaries while Misbah reached his eighth half century from 56 balls. Akmal played with a pulled hamstring and cramps towards the end but reached his hundred in 110 balls.

That looked unlikely when Pakistan started dismally as Salman Butt was sent back but failed to beat Ben Laughlins direct throw from square leg in the first over. Captain Younis Khan and opener Ahmed Shehzad were struggling against the pace of Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger, who even had Shehzad caught fending a bouncer. Shehzad survived after the umpires deemed the ball to be a second bouncer for the over.

Shehzad failed to make it count and was trapped leg before to Nathan Hauritz and soon after Khan was caught by Hilfenhaus at long on to the same bowler.

With their backs to the wall, Misbah played positively and his performance also inspired Akmal. Misbah hit Australia captain Michael Clarke for two boundaries in the 19th over and the pair never looked back, putting on 78 runs in their first 10 overs together.

The duo glanced away to the leg side, cut late and pulled away the wayward deliveries to the ropes with a minimum of one four coming in each of those 10 overs.

Earlier, Watson had brought up his second century in 77 ODIs with the help of six fours and two sixes after Clarke won the toss. Watson hit a six and a boundary in the sixth over off Umar Gul, who bowled well in the third game but was dropped for Sohail Tanvir in the fourth.

Watson surged ahead, bringing up his half-century in 59 balls. His 50 on Friday had taken 100 balls.

His opening partner Haddin struck three fours off Yasir Arafat before he was caught by Khan at mid off to leave Australia on 58-1 in the ninth over.

The run rate never dropped despite Marcus North, playing his second ODI, being stumped by Akmal for five off Saeed Ajmal in the 15th over to make it 83-2.

Clarke was out for 26 and Andrew Symonds made 15 but Ferguson and Watson went on to add 84 in less than 14 overs.

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