x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

How it happened: Akmal inspires Pakistan to victory

Kamran Akmal and Misbah ul-Haq put on a 198 run stand to guide Pakistan to their 251 target to win the fifth ODI.

Hello and welcome to the fifth and final one-day international between Pakistan and Australia in the UAE. Kamran Akmal and Misbah ul-Haq put on a 198-run stand for the fourth wicket to guide Pakistan to their 251 target to seal the fifth and final one-day international in Abu Dhabi. Earlier Shane Watson had scored 116 not out to set Pakistan a tricky target. They got off to a terrible start with Salman Butt being ran out without facing a delivery in the first over. Younus Khan (27) and Shehzad Ahmed (19) chipped in to get the score off the ground before Misbah and Akmal played beautifully to the cheers, drums and horns of the Pakistan support desperate to see their team win in Abu Dhabi. The series goes to Australia with a 3-2 victory, but Pakistan must now be confident going into the final match in the UAE, the Twenty20 international at Dubai Sports City on Thursday. Over 47 Misbah joins the party with two boundaries through midwicket. They need one to win. Misbah does it in style. He makes room and ploughs the ball over mid-on for four. Brilliant batting from those two. They take some form going into Thursday's Twenty20 match with a solid seven wicket win. . Pakistan 254-3, Misbah 76 not out Akmal 113 not out. Pakistan win by seven wickets. Over 46 Powerplay three has been called. I think Australia know their three match winning streak is about to end. Akmal slogs another boundary, his 11th, with little footwork, over the abandoned cover boundary. He follows that with his 12th. He scoops it over backward point. Then Akmal gets his 13th four on the last ball of the over . 14 from the over. Pakistan need nine to win. Pakistan 242-3. Over 45 Akmal moves on to 99. Misbah guides another down the leg side to bring him back on. Akmal then sweeps to square an runs in his hundred. Younus Khan is delighted as he waves his bat to each point of the ground. Cracking knock from just 110 balls. He then sweeps Clarke again in the air, over the catcher at deep square leg for four. They need 23 to win Pakistan 228-3. Over 44 Laughlin returns. Misbah scores a single. Akmal is at that nervy stage, just four short of his hundred. He scores a single to third man. Misbah runs another. Akmal keeps the strike by running a single to point. Pakistan 220-3. Over 43 Michael Clarke brings himself back on. He bowls a maiden towards Akmal. If someone can follow that up in the next over it might put a bit of pressure on Pakistan, but remember, they still have the third powerplay. Pakistan 216-3. Over 42 Each run is being greeted by the horns of the Pakistan support. Bollinger goes for three singles off his first three deliveries. Misbah then wallops another four into the onside. Seven from the over. Pakistan 216-3. Over 41 It has been a tireless and thankless effort from Hopes. For a medium pacer, bowling eight overs in a row in these conditions is hard work. He goes for two runs. If Australia slow the run rate down like this for the next two or three overs we have a game. It just does not seem that likely at the moment. Pakistan 209-3, Akmal 94 Misbah 54. Over 40 Bollinger is now re-introduced. He has not replicated his fine form from Friday's game either as he starts with a wide. Akmal runs two through deep extra cover. There is still a powerplay in the hands of Pakistan. They might not even need it at this rate. The 150 partnership is up. They now need 44 from 60 balls. Pakistan 207-3. Over 39 Hopes continues. Akmal runs two two's and a single to bring him on to 90. It also brings up the 200 for Pakistan. Nothing seems to be working for the fielding team as Misbah and Akmal are in free flow. Pakistan 201-3. Over 38 Hilfenhaus bowls a no ball. Misbah on 46, pulls it for a four to bring up his half-century. The match is going away from Australia with another eight runs coming off this over. Michael Clarke needs a wicket and fast. Pakistan 194-3. Over 37 Pakistan add four singles as we go into a drinks break. They need 65 to win at five an over. Pakistan 186-3. Over 36 Hilfenhaus returns and gets smacked for two fours by Akmal. Both of them pull shots. Hilfenhaus responds with three dot balls. Akmal scores another two into the covers. Big over for Pakistan after Hopes had pegged them back in the previous. The horns are out in the crowd. They sense a Pakistan victory. Pakistan 182-3. Over 35 Hopes bowls five dots to start with, the latter has Misbah fishing on his off stump. Then the field ruins Hopes' excellent work by throwing an over throw. Misbah helps himself to two runs. We also have a new ball at the request of Australia. Pakistan 172-3, Misbah 43 Akmal 71 Over 34 Akmal gets the crowds cheering again with two eloquent fours behind the wicket, one a sweep, the other a fine cut. Ten from the over. Pakistan need 81 to win and look comfortable in achieving it from this position. Pakistan 170-3. Over 33Akmal scores a single to bring up the 100 partnership from 98 balls. It has been entertaining cricket from the two men in the middle At the moment Hopes has done very well in stifling the momentum. It has been a while since the last boundary. Hopes goes for five runs. Pakistan 160-3. Over 32 Andrew Symonds is called for duty. He gets going by projecting a wide. Pakistan take four off that over too with Misbah closing in on his half-century. Pakistan 155-3. Over 31 Hopes continues from the Grand Stand end. Misbah runs a single to square leg to bring up the 150 for Pakistan. He goes for three runs. Hopes has bowled very well so far, going at four an over. Pakistan 151-3. Over 30 Hauritz's 10 overs come to an end. Three from the over leaves him figures of two for 44. Not a bad return as he was bowling when Akmal and Misbah were at the height of their purple patch. Pakistan 148-3, Akmal 53 Misbah 28 Over 29 Akmal plays a single into the offside to bring up a brilliant 50 off 52 balls. Misbah runs two off the last ball. It is very very even in terms of the run rate. Five an over is now needed. Pakistan 145-3. Over 28 Akmal survives a lbw shout in a much better over for Australia. Hauritz gives up just one run. Pakistan 140-3. Over 27 James Hopes has been brought into the attack. He goes for three down to fine leg off his first ball. This is followed by three dots. Misbah runs a single. Pakistan 138-3. Over 26 Hauritz stops the runfest somewhat, with only four runs coming off his eighth over. They need 117 to win with 144 balls left. Pakistan 134-3. Over 25 Laughlin gets more treatment with Akmal, short on footwork times a cover drive for four. This partnership has been so good they are ahead of Australia's total at the halfway stage. Pakistan 130-3, Akmal 42 Misbah 31 Over 24 Australia need to convince the batsmen to score their runs in front of the wicket as Akmal edges another four to third man. He scores a single to bring Misbah on who glances another four to fine-leg. Entertaining batting from the pair. Misbah is on 29 from 18 balls. Pakistan 123-3. Over 23 Clarke brings Laughlin back, but he gets pulled for four by Misbah off his first delivery to bring up the 50 partnership. He goes for another four as Akmal top edges looking to pull it into the onside. This pair have put on 57 runs in seven overs. Superb batting and they are back on track with the run rate. Pakistan 113-3. Over 22 Haddin gives away four byes to bring up Pakistan's 100. Eight runs conceded from Hauritz's over as Pakistan are motoring. The run rate is down to 5.3 Pakistan 103-3. Over 21 Clarke goes for nine runs. He is proving to be expensive as Akmal and Misbah look comfortable against the slower ball, using the sweep shot to great effect. Pakistan 95-3. Over 20 Akmal runs another three. He is getting set. Misbah sweeps for two. Akmal scores boundary down to third man. This could be a very important spell for Pakistan. They need to get the required rate down and 11 of this over will help. Pakistan 88-3, Misbah 13 Akmal 22. Over 19 Michael Clarke brings himself into the attack. Misbah gets off the mark with a pull through midwicket for four. Then he pinches a single. Akmal scores another four edging it past backward point. 12 from the over. Has Clarke's bowling luck finally ran out? Pakistan 77-3. Over 18 Akmal sweeps for two runs in another tight over from Hauritz. They need 186 to win at 5.8 an over. Pakistan 65-3. Over 17 Akmal gets his first boundary with a straight shot. He also runs two with a pull past square leg. He retains the strike with a single. Pakistan 63-3. WICKET Over 16 Hauritz continues from the South end. He traps Shehzad lbw who was on 19. Misbah ul-Haq comes to the crease. It is not looking good for Pakistan. Pakistan 56-3 Over 15 Bollinger is back in the attack. Shehzad scores a four through deep extra cover with a timed drive. He also adds a single. Pakistan 53-2, Shehzad 18 Akmal 1 WICKET Over 14Hauritz strikes as Younus strikes out on 27, his highest score this series. He tried to hit a big six over the long-off boundary but comes short to Hilfenhaus who catches. Kamran Akmal has been promoted up the order to slog some runs out Pakistan 46-2. Over 13 An expensive over from Laughlin who concedes a boundary to Younus. Callum Ferguson was in chase but the ball just beats him. They add three singles in the over. Pakistan 44-1. Over 12 Nathan Hauritz joins the attack. He goes for four singles as these two batsmen now look set to tuck into the run chase. Pakistan 37-1. Over 11 Laughlin goes to two runs of his first two balls. He follows it up with two dot balls. Then Shehzad comes on to the front foot to drive a single. Three from the over. Pakistan 33-1. Over 10 Hilfenhaus goes for two runs as the bowlers and fielders are putting in a very disciplined shift. Australia were 71-1 at this stage as the second powerplay is called. Pakistan 30-1 Shehzad 9 Younus 1. Over 9 Ben Laughlin comes into the attack. Shehzad scores a couple with a edge into the covers. He finds the edge again to third man and runs well for another two. Four from the over. The run rate has crept up to 5.4. Pakistan 28-1. Over 8 Younus pulls a short delivery for four over square leg. He adds a single, then Shehzad flashes an edge to third man for a run. They are starting to play a bit now. Pakistan 24-1. Over 7 Shehzad plays a positive shot through midwicket but a great diving stop prevents a boundary. Australia continue to work hard. Younus scores the first boundary two balls later with a sublime straight drive on the half volley. Better over for Pakistan, seven from it. Pakistan 18-1. Over 6 Younus scores a couple down to third man again, the only area where they have scored really. Then finally, a run in front of the wicket. The Aussies quickly change round. They are enjoying their cricket at the moment. Pakistan 11-1. Over 5 Bollinger beats the bat on three occasions. It has been a struggle so far for the two batsmen. One run from the over. Pakistan 8-1, Shehzad 2 Younus 2. Over 4 Younus gets off the mark with a run down to third man. Shehzad also scores in that region as Hilfenhaus keeps a tight line. Good bowling from the big right-armer. Pakistan 7-1. Over 3 Shehzad rides a bouncing delivery from Bollinger and rides his luck too as Bowden judges it to be a no ball. I am not sure if he gloved it to Haddin or not. He survives for now. He then scores his first run to third man. Good bowling again by Bollinger. Pakistan 5-1. Over 2 Ben Hilfenhaus will open the bowling from the other end. He bowls a maiden to Younus, who is very short on batting time. Perfect start for Australia who have Pakistan immediately on the back foot. Pakistan 2-1. WICKET Over 1 So Pakistan need 251 to win. Salman Butt and Ahmed Shehzad open for them. Doug Bollinger will steam in against the wind. But first there is a problem with the sight screen. Billy Bowden has words and sorts it out. Oh no no no. Butt is run out by a brilliant bit of fielding work by Ben Laughlin without facing a ball. Younus Khan is in. It was also a no-ball so Shehzad gets a free hit. He does not score and gets hit on the quad for his troubles. The eventful over is completed. A great start for Australia. Pakistan 2-1. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Can Pakistan chase down that target? Who is your player of the series? Have your say below. We'll be back soon for the start of Pakistan's reply. Over 50 Lots of action in Shoaib's last over. Watson surives a run-out. Then Gul drops a lofted pull from Ferguson. The batsmen push for runs and get 10 from the over to reach 250. Superb effort from Watson again who scored 116 not out. He has carried his bat through the innings for a second consecutive match. Ferguson was also impressive with a positive 41 not out. Good total, Pakistan may struggle. Australia 250-4. Over 49 Ajmal completes his 10 overs taking one wicket for 40. Australia 239-4. Over 48 Shoaib returns to close out the Grand Stand end. The crowd cheer his every run up. Watson is risking his wicket a bit. He runs a close two into mid-on. Six from the over as Australia are closing in on the 250 target. Australia 237-4. Over 47 A glance to fine-leg brings up Watson's century. He has been prolific again today and takes off his helmet to acknowledge an appreciative applause. Will he crack on now or will he save his wicket to carry his bat through another match. Australia 231-4. Over 46 Ferguson plays a timed cover drive for four that brings up the fifty partnership. He has been very positive since coming in. Watson scores two singles to take him to 99. Ferguson scores another four as Gul goes for 12 off the over. Australia 224-4. Over 45 Ferguson shows the array of shots in his locker by producing a reverse sweep for two off Ajmal. Watson is edging so close to his century but Ferguson retains the strike with a hastily ran single off the last ball. Australia 212-4, Watson 97, Ferguson 24. Over 44 Watson brings up the 200 for Australia by smashing his sixth four. He adds a couple down to long-on. Gul responds with some yorker's but Watson digs the last ball out to retain strike. Australia 206-4. Over 43 Ajmal returns for his final spell. What a disaster for the bowler. Ferguson tries to run a second, Watson calls him back, he is in no man's land and Ajmal makes a hash of the run out chance. Four from the over Australia 199-4. Over 42 The small crowd are in fine voice to their credit as Yasir returns for his third spell. He gets the treatment from Ferguson's punch through midwicket for four. Younus has words with him and he bowls a dot ball. Watson and Ferguson add three more in singles. Australia 195-4. Over 41 Malik completes his allotted overs too. Two from the over as he finishes with one for 46. Australia 188-4. Over 40 Ferguson scores three with a deft edge down the leg side. Afridi completes his 10 overs wicketless for 36 runs. A very good effort for someone not fully fit. He bowled well when Australia were piling on the runs. Australia 186-4, Watson 87 Ferguson 12. Over 39 Ferguson scores a four with a miss-timed off-cut. They run in a few singles as Malik goes for a few off that over. Australia 180-4 Over 38 Afridi is now into his penultimate over. Akmal celebrates like he has caught Ferguson. Afridi and the rest of the Pakistan team join in as we go to the TV umpire. The ball ricochets off his bat but on to the ground instead of his foot which Akmal claimed. Not out. Two from the over. Australia 171-4 WICKET Over 37 Watson sweeps a single to backward point from the first ball from Malik. Then he strikes as Symonds gets his cut through to third man all wrong as the ball nicks his inside edge and on to his wicket. Bowled him for 15 runs. Callum Ferguson is next in. He gets off the mark by pushing a single to mid-on. Watson runs two to fine-leg. Australia 169-4 5:42 PM Over 36 Afridi returns, bowling from the Grand Stand end. The crowd favourite goes for two runs and then spoils a nice over as Symonds chips a wide delivery over the mid-off's head for the first boundary in 12 overs. Australia 165-3 Over 35 Malik goes for four more runs. The crowd is growing by the minute on the embankments as people are finishing work. Younus will be happy to ship four runs an over from here. That would put Australia on around 220. It is a competitive score but easily achievable. Australia 159-3 Over 34 Watson and Symonds are happy enough running between the wickets and score four from it. We have a moment for the final drinks break. Australia are in a good position here and should be looking to score 100 runs from the final 15 overs. Australia 155-3, Watson 77, Symonds 9. Over 33 Three runs from Symonds brings up the 150 for Australia. Watson scores two singles. Australia 151-3 Over 32 Yasir comes back on for his second spell. He went for 26 in two overs. Younus must have some faith in him then. To his credit that was a fine effort from the medium pacer. Two runs from it. Australia 146-2 Over 31 The crowd is not as large as it was on Friday, but at last they are starting to find their voice after the wicket of Clarke. Another tidy over from Malik who goes for two runs. Australia 144-3 Over 30 Clarke is gone. He edges to Akmal. The captain makes 26. A useful knock. Andrew Symonds is now batting. He suffered severe pad-rash in the previous match so he will be itching to post a score today. He gets off the mark with a couple. Australia 142-3 Overs 26-29 Umer Gul is called back into the attack. I have just popped my head out of the window and it is very windy out there. Good for the fielders as it has dropped the temperature down by a considerable amount. During the 28th over a Watson single brings up the 50 partnership. These two love batting together at the moment. The run rate has dropped below five an over but the two batsmen seem rather content with the way this innings is developing. With 20 overs to go, they must surely be looking towards posting a total around the 260 mark. Australia 140-2, Watson 71 Clarke 26 WICKET Overs 24-25 Watson smashes a pair of fours as he and Clarke are working on another devastating partnership. Malik has not done anything to stem the tide as he has gone for 11 off his first two overs. . Australia 127-2, Watson 64 Clarke 20 Overs 21-23 Watson has carried on his great form by reaching his fifty. The opener has been in fine fettle reaching his half-ton with three fours and two huge sixes. Shoaib Malik has replaced Ajmal at the South Stand end as Younus continues with his spin plan. It's not taking wickets but with a better pitch today than the previous two matches preventing runs could be key. Australia 117-2, Watson 56 Clarke 18 Overs 15-20 The tactic of bringing on spin has certainly worked for Pakistan. Australia were going at a rate of 7 an over, but the tidy work of Ajmal and Afridi has pushed the run rate down to 5.2 an over. During this spell Australia bought up their 100, when Watson swept for 2. He is on 48 with Clarke on 13. Australia 104-2 WICKET Over 14 North is out, stunned by Akmal, from the bowling of Ajmal. He makes five runs, the captain Michael Clarke is now at the crease. We go to drinks. Austalia 83-2 Over 13 Pakistan tried to stop the run hemorrhage by bringing on the spin duo of Afridi and Ajmal. Off three overs they have gone for eight runs. North is currently on three. Watson is on 38. Australia 78-1 Over 9 From then on Shane Watson has a go at Yasir scoring 13 off the over which included a boundry. Then Yasir bowls a no ball which Watson punished for by scoring a six from the free hit. Australia 71-1 Over 8 Haddin the Australian opening batsman gets caught by Younus Khan off the bowling of Shoaib, over for 36. Marcus Law is the next batsman. Australia 58-1. Over 7 Much better from Shoaib, a nice maiden over to take the pressure off Gul's expensive last over. He did not give Haddin a sniff. Australia 38-0. Over 6 Watson gets in on the act by producing his first four as Gul sends one short and wide down the leg side. The Watson hits a massive six straight over the bowlers head. Wonderful start for Australia. They score four from running in between the wickets. Australia 38-0. Over 5 Kamran Akmal was spectacular with a diving save down the leg side to prevent a wide Shoaib delivery going for four. Haddin and Watson score singles. Then Haddin cracks another four through a cover drive. Australia 24-0. Haddin 17, Watson 6. Over 4 Umer Gul has Watson fishing with an excellent delivery down the corridor of uncertainty. Watson edges the third ball but it falls well short of slip. Watson then skies his shot into the onside, but falls short for two runs. He is living dangerously out there. Australia 17-0. Over 3 Haddin strikes his second boundary of the day through the midwicket region. It was a valiant chase by the Pakistan players fielding in that region but there was just enough pace to reach the ropes. Then Haddin scores a couple down to fine leg. He pushes a single to short midwicket. Positive start from the wicketkeeper who was a Shoaib victim early in the last ODI. Australia 15-0. Over 2 Umer Gul opens the bowling from the other end. It is a nice start from the well rested Gul. Two from the over.Australia 7-0. Over 1 It is Shoaib Akhtar to open the bowling from the South Stand end. Shane Watson and Brad Haddin to open the batting for Australia. Watson scores a single off the first ball down to third man. Then Haddin plays a lovely shot through point for four off a wider delivery. Australia 5-0. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This match seems to be a low key affair today. A few spectators are dotted around the Zayed Cricket Stadium. It is certainly not the grand stand finale that everyone hoped for. The players have been going through their warm-up drills for around 30 minutes prior to the toss. Team news; Pakistan recall Umer Gul in place of Sohail Tanveer. Shahid Afridi recovers from injury on Friday and passes a late fitness test. Ben Laughlin comes in for Australia to replace the resting Nathan Bracken and Ben Hilfenhaus replaces Stuart Clark. No Brett Lee. Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Salman Butt, Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal, Umer Gul, Yasir Arafat Australia: Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Marcus North, Callum Ferguson, James Hopes, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Laughlin, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus The toss has been made and Michael Clarke wins it for AUSTRALIA. He decides to have a bat. The temperature has dropped to 34C today, but that is partly thanks to the wind, which does pick up a bit. The umpires today are Billy Bowden and Aleem Dar. The video umpire is Nadeem Ghauri. 15 minutes to the first over. Stay tuned. It may have no bearings on the series but both teams are highly competitive and will want to win it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We are back at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi for what is a dead rubber after Australia closed out the series on Friday with an impressive eight wicket thrashing of Pakistan led by the captain Michael Clarke's beautifully crafted 100 not out on a tricky batting strip. All is not lost though, as both teams will be keen to win; Pakistan will try to card a victory for their massive support in Abu Dhabi, while Australia need to win to boost their hopes of moving up the ODI rankings ladder. And with the Twenty20 match in Dubai on Thursday, a win here will certainly give the victors some sort of momentum. It is hard to predict who will start for either team as there could be some experimenting going on. There are rumours that Brett Lee could return for Australia sooner than expected. Umer Gul, rested on Friday, is likely to return for Pakistan, probably at the expense of Yasir Arafat if their pace attack is all fit to play. The full confirmation of the starting line-ups will be announced at about 2.30pm and the all important toss will follow. The weather is predicted to be a little bit cooler today in Abu Dhabi with highs of 36C. That could influence the toss somewhat but each captain will prefer to set a target rather than chase down after a lengthy spell in the field. Follow the coverage with The National. Play starts at 3pm.