x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Australia prove their point as Pakistan suffer heaviest ever T20 defeat

Pakistan were 74 all out, their lowest T20 total, as David Warner and Shane Watson blitzed Australia to a 94-run victory.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sept 10 2012, Dubai Sports City, Aus v Pak- Shane Watson hits a six in their match with Pakistan. Mike Young The National??
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sept 10 2012, Dubai Sports City, Aus v Pak- Shane Watson hits a six in their match with Pakistan. Mike Young The National??

Having regressed beneath the Irish in the world Twenty20 rankings - amid much mirth in some quarters - the Australians served notice they can still play a bit last night.

The series may already have been lost, but this was just as much of a thrashing as Pakistan had meted out in the opening match.

Given the two sides had needed a Super Over to separate them in game two on Friday, maybe George Bailey, Australia's captain, was right when he said rankings are bunk.

Everyone at Dubai's International Cricket Stadium saw what Australia can be like when they have a point to prove, during a violent display with the bat here.

Pakistan did excellent to restrict their opponents to 168 for seven, given the start the nominal away side were granted by their two openers. David Warner, the explosive left-hander, is coming to the boil just in time for the serious business which follows this tour of the UAE, at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, to where Australia depart tomorrow.

He made 59, including a trademark switch-hit slogged for six, in a brutal alliance worth 111 for the first wicket with Shane Watson.

The fact Australia managed just 57 from the 57 balls they received once their partnership was broken was thanks to a typical source: Saeed Ajmal.

Ajmal's figures of two wickets for 19 runs from his quota of four overs were all the more impressive when considering one of those overs went for 15 and included two huge sixes.

Yet he may also inadvertently sparked Australia's revival, too. Watson was given an animated send off by the storied off-spinner in the second match. They continued to swap barbs here, too.

It only served to rile Watson into action. The burly all-rounder twice found the second tier of the stands in the space of four balls off Shoaib Malik, and hit another six off the final ball of that over to boot.

In the time it took Watson and Warner to add the second 50 of the innings - just 15 balls, to be precise - the game had swung inexorably in their favour.

Pakistan's batsmen wilted in the face of Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc in reply, meaning they signed off a day which started with them being celebrated as national heroes by posting 74 all out, their lowest T20 total and their heaviest T20 defeat in terms of runs.

pradley@thenational.ae

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