x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

How it happened: Australia level the series

Australia have squared the one-day series against Pakistan with a six-wicket victory at Dubai Sports City. Read how it unfolded.

A disciplined batting performance by Australia gave them a comfortable victory over Pakistan in the second one-day international in Dubai. Chasing 208 to win the Australians made it for the loss of four wickets in the 45th over. The series moves to Abu Dhabi on Monday, level at 1-1. * * * * * They have broken out Van Halen's Jump for this moment. I have nothing much to add on that subject. Australia were much improved and despite the turning pitch it was their seamers that put them in control with Doug Bollinger and Nathan Bracken the star men, even if Nathan Hauritz picked up the wickets. What I thought was a par score was clearly, at least, 20 runs short, and Andrew Symonds was Australia's impressive performer with the bat. He was rarely troubled by the spinners, watching carefully and seemed to have little trouble picking their variations during his knock of 58. It was an impressive return in his second match back for the visitors. Pakistan's batting frailties remain, and they are now the team with work to do as the series moves to Abu Dhabi. Over 46 Ferguson pushes the ball to mid-on for a single and the Australians have squared the series. The attendance was an impressive 22, 866, although not many of them are left to see the winning runs. Australia 208-4 Clarke not out 39 Ferguson not out 10 Over 45 Iftikhar is continuing to speed in but the Australians need six from 36 balls. Clarke knows he does not have to do anything stupid with those odds. He brings the scores level with a wonderful straight drive past long-off. Australia 207-4 Over 44 This has been a controlled performance by the Australians. Ferguson moves a couple to square leg before digging out a useful yorker for a single. Clarke steps down the track to Afridi, he does not completely middle it but it flies over mid-off for a couple more. Australia 202-4 Over 43 Clarke takes up the gauntlet and straight from the manual strokes a glorious cover drive off Iftikhar as the Aussies close in on victory. Australia 197-4 Over 42 That is a lovely way to get off the mark. Afridi offers the ball up for the drive and Ferguson leans in and strokes it for four through extra cover. Hold that pose, and that is a snapshot for his mantlepiece. Australia 191-4 Over 41 Callum Ferguson comes to the wicket at the non-striker's end. Clarke punches Gul down the ground for a couple before gently turning it wide of midwicket. There is more energy among the fielders now. Gul finishes with 10-0-51-1. Australia 186-4 Australia need 22 runs to win from 54 balls. WICKET Over 40 And, perhaps most importantly of all, Symonds has the luck with him as he looks to hit Afridi over midwicket and gets four over gully instead. The two then pick up singles and then the fielding timebomb that is Shoaib labours to his right at gully and with his diving "stop" turns a one into two. Oh dear. Then Afridi makes the breakthrough. He pitches a leggie on middle and it keeps low and hits off. The end of a splendid, measured knock. An impressive comeback in only his second game back in the side. Australia 183-4 Symonds b Afridi 58 (62) Over 39 Gul is continuing. After two singles, Symonds leans and drives through the covers for three runs and that brings up his fifty. It was been a solid, balanced knock by the big man today. He moves on to 51 from 57 balls. Australia 175-3 Over 38 Iftikhar is bowling at around 135kph. The third man is the sluggish Shoaib and the pair chance a two, which in reality is quite an easy two. Clarke then pulls a single to deep square leg. Australia 167-3 Over 37 Gul continues and finds a good length. He beats the outside edge of Clarke's bat and has him on the back foot for the first four balls. Clarke then indulges in some more tip and run. He pushes straight to mid-off and they are still home easily with the field throwing to the striker's end. It is flat in the field at the minute. Good over from Gul though as he finishes with a bouncer. Australia 164-3 Over 34 Is Iftikhar going to prove me wrong? Singles are coming easily to the pair as Clarke picks one up on the leg-side and Symonds drops one into the covers. Generally a good off stump line from the bowler. There feels like an air of anticlimax out on in the stands. Australia seem to be cantering to victory today in a similar manner to Pakistan on Wednesday. Although not as slowly. Australia 154-3 Over 33 Ajmal starts his sixth over, and Symonds waits and watches before guiding the ball daintily for a couple behind square on the off-side. Then he clubs a full toss between cover and mid-off. Nothing dainty about that. The second 50 runs of the innings took 93 balls, the last 50 just 49. Another great over for Australia. Australia 152-3 Over 32 Iftikhar comes back to the attack. Younus is mixing and matching. The Australians are looking good for this now I have to say. Clarke guides it to third man and brings up the fifty-partnership. Australia 144-3 Clarke 8 Symonds 35 Over 31 Ajmal pitches on off-leg and spins it down the legside and the Australians pick up five wides. The partnership is 41 from 56 balls. Ajmal drops a fraction short and the powerful Symonds steps forward and swipes it over mid-on. That is three good overs in a row for Australia now. The middle-order Clarke has been so worried about could do their job today. Australia 141-3 Over 30 A quick drinks break for all, and Malik continues. The Australians pick up a couple as Symonds edges behind for a couple. Then Malik does the cardinal sin for a spinner, particularly against Symonds, as he oversteps and gives the big man a free hit. Symonds takes a brief moment out of rubbing his hands with glee as he punches wide of fine leg. He then finds the boundary again shortly afterwards with a powerful sweep to square leg beating the diving fielder position just behind. The tactic of utilising the sweep more is undoubtedly working for the Australians. Australia 128-3 Over 29 Clarke pushes forward to cover for one run. There is practically a scrum to get on the big screen, as they pan through a group of young men. All good natured though. Symonds picks up one to square leg. Clarke then pushes a no ball wide of midwicket. Akhtar looks disgusted at giving up the free hit. He steams in and fires a 146kph yorker that Clarke digs out and runs for a single. Good retort from Akhtar, but still seven runs from that over. Australia 117-3 Over 28 Malik is brought into the attack and turns it in past Symonds' bat and almost gets him through the gate. Symonds gets fully behind it next ball and turns the next to midwicket. Clarke then does the same and they get a quick single. Australia 110-3 Over 27 Younus acts quickly. If the batters look comfortable against the spin, let us see how they are against pace. Shoaib returns. He actually started his run-up a couple of overs ago, but is only getting to the wicket now... Symonds guides the slower ball to third man. Clarke plays and misses outside off as Akhtar plows a decent outisde off-stump line, and with the final ball the Aussie skipper is almost beaten but a thin edge just takes it away from the off stump. It is exactly 100 to win from 23 overs at a rate of 4.3. Australia 108-3 Over 26 Afridi continues. Symonds picks up a two to long-on and a single down to long-off. These two are quick between the wickets, and they pick up another speedy single. "We love cricket here in the UAE" says a sign held up by one man in the crowd. I heartily concur sir. The run rate required is now 4.2.Australia 107-3 Clarke 3 Symonds 10 Over 25 Symonds is solid in defence against the wrong 'un and Ajmal fires a quicker delivery to stop the charging batsman. He works it with the spin to get in behind square for a couple. The Queenslander has not been in great form with the bat for his state this year so they are taking a bit of a gamble on him. Australia 102-3 Over 24 Afridi has one slip but no one under the helmet. Symonds keeps fielding the midwicket fielders before driving to mid-on for one. Australia 99-3 Over 23 There is a short leg in for these two batsman, which is clever thinking from Younus. Both batsman punch singles on the first two balls though. Australia 97-3 WICKET Over 22 Afridi beats the bat with a legspinner. BOOM BOOM. We have a game on. The next ball he gives it a bit more air it pitches on leg and straightens. Hopes is trying to sweep and that is out. Australia 93-3 Hopes lbw Afridi 48 (64) Symonds joins Clarke at the crease. There are two new men to face the spinners, exactly the situation Clarke did not want Australia to be in today. There are 115 runs needed by the Aussies from 28.4 overs. Some joyous scenes among the Pakistani crowd, while the Australia dressing room looks a little shell-shocked. Australia 95-3 WICKET Over 21 That is the end of the powerplays as Ajmal continues. Watson is taking a big step forward wherever possible, whether that is to lunge forward and defend or to turn it round to the leg side. But now he is absolutely furious with himself. The ball was outside off stump, he looked to pull it square of the wicket and he got a thick edge up into the air and it was taken in the leg gully area. Just what the doctor ordered for Pakistan. Australia 93-2 Watson c Misbah b Ajmal 30 (52) Michael Clarke is the new man in. Over 20 The Australian pair work Afridi around, no risks taken but the strike is being rotated and the score is ticking along. Australia 91-1 Over 19 Ajmal is varying the flight and the Australians have clearly been thinking through their strategy to this pair. They are doing their utmost to get to the pitch of the ball but Watson completely fails to pick the doosra and gets a thick edge past slip. He picks up three but Ajmal knows he is the moral victor. Australia 87-1 Over 18 Australia are currently keeping the scoreboard ticking over without giving up wickets, which is a huge step forward from Wednesday. Hopes defends solidly and picks up a couple through cover. Australia 83-1 Over 17 It is Saeed Ajmal from the Sports City End. He immediately finds some turn and finds the inside edge of Watson who is lucky to see it pass the stumps. Watson then picks up two to long-on before picking up a couple more after a misfield at point. Australia 81-1 Over 16 Afridi, whose 6 for 38 in the last match were career-best figures, bowls his second over. The third powerplay has been taken. Hopes sweeps tidily for a single to deep square leg. Replays show that Iftikhar's appeal against Watson had some validity, going on to hit the top of middle stump. Australia 76-1 Over 15 Iftikhar has changed ends. I thought the all-rounder Sohail Tanvir might come in for Iftikhar for this match, he sounds an exciting, emerging talent. Hopes drops the ball to the vacant midwicket area for a single. The men outside the circle are deep midwicket, third man and a wideish third man. There is a vocal team appeal for lbw but it a big stride forward. The bowler drifts down leg and the Aussies pick up a single behind square. Australia 73-1 Hopes 38 Watson 20 Over 14 After a drinks break, Younus has finally made the change. Iftikhar is off following eight runs from his two overs, I'm surprised he got the selection nod again. And Afridi begins his spell. This is where Pakistan need to exert some pressure. Two singles are pushed and then Watson tickles the ball to the vacant fine leg area and sprints back for two. Australia need 138 to win from 36 overs at 3.8rpo. But do not take that run rate lightly, it is not easy scoring out there. Australia 70-1 Over 13 A poor delivery from Gul gets the treatment. It was short, on off-stump and Watson pulls it to the midwicket boundary. The 50 partnership comes up from 55 balls with two runs from Hopes as he pushes a full toss wide of deep midwicket before he is beaten by the last ball of the over. It must be time for spin now. Ajmal did most of his damage from this end, or should I say Afridi did his damage from the Emirates Road End, so I would guess it will be Afridi. Australia 66-1 Over 12 Younus is still holding his spinners back as Iftikhar continues. First up Watson gets a single, wide of a second slip. Younus then does well diving at mid-off to keep them to one. Australia 59-1 Over 11 Gul has been moved to the Sports City End. Shoaib's spell, similar to Wednesday is 5-1-24-0. The second powerplay has been taken. Hopes drives a little loosely and gets a single to third man. Watson thin edges it to fine leg and they run one. The run rate required is down to 3.9. Watching the IPL last night one commentator, I believe it was Mark Nicholas, said that in that form of the game dot balls are becoming as important as runs and wickets. They are certainly important to Pakistan in his match. What a match it was between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals by the way. Wow. Australia 56-1 Over 10 Rao Iftikhar Anjum comes into the attack. Hopes times it nicely to pick up three wide of mid-on, and pictures of Javed Miandad on the big screen bring warm applause. Watson moves his weight nicely and punches the ball square of the wicket. It is picked up by the fielder Umar Gul. Gul is fielding at third man, obviously. Watson gets two. Australia 54-1 Over 9 Watson holds his head steady and, wait for it, nudges it down to third man for a single. Hopes is having none of that namby-pamby shenanigans though and he thick edges a slashing cut that goes fine of third man for four. Akhtar drops short outside off stump and Hopes bounces up and punches that over cover for six! "Boom Boom Sixer 6" screams the message on the big screens. Australia 49-1 Over 8 Gul drops shot and Hopes rocks back and pulls that for four over midwicket. Hopes then pushes the ball wide of Younus at mid-on. They run a single and off Younus' misfield, they run another. That was very close to a run-out of Watson though, whose sprawling effort would not have saved him from a direct hit. Gul then no balls and gives Hopes a free hit. The Queenslander takes advantage with a lovely cover drive to the boundary. There are still two slips in, a first and a third. Hopes, a new bat in hand after probably damaging it trying to hit through cover, defends to mid-off. Australia 36-1 Over 7 Shoaib begins another over. Watson square cuts that up and over point. It was a little risky but deliberate and nicely played for four. Shoaib gives Watson a 143kph bouncer that the batsman avoids well and gets a big Shoaib smile for his troubles. Australia 25-1 Over 6 I expect the Australian batsmen feel like unpopular gladiators. There are cheers as Gul gets on to spit up and rap Hopes on the glove. Then Gul squares Hopes up a little bit, the ball pops out to the short mid-off area and Gul gets his hand to it diving to his left but cannot hold on. It was a brilliant effort and he looked to have got it. Unlucky. Watson picks up a single by playing it down to third man, again. Australia 21-1 Over 5 This is wonderful pace bowling from Shoaib. He beats Watson twice before Watson drives and picks up another single to third man. There is a real buzz around the ground, and there is real energy out there in the stands with whistling and drums. It is wonderful to watch. Australia 19-1 WICKET Over 4 That's a lovely shot from Haddin. Gul drops shot on middle and leg and it gets the treatment as he pulls it for four. In 2009 Haddin is averaging 43.6 from his 17 innings. But this will take his average down, what a terrible shot. Haddin steps to leg to give himself room and his projected drive over cover fails to make contact and there is the death rattle. A key man dismissed by Pakistan. Australia 16-1 Haddin b Gul 8 (13) Shane Watson is the new man in, and gets a single to third man. Australia 17-1 Over 3 Hopes edges down to third man. Haddin then pushes off the back foot and that flies to get three to deep midwicket. Akhtar is up around the 143kph mark. He reaches 145.5kph as he wraps Hopes on the pads but they pick up a single. Australia 10-0 Over 2 Umar Gul forces Hopes to defend on the back foot with his starter. The required run rate is 4.3. That a nice square drive from Hopes and he picks up three. Australia 3-0 Over 1 Shoaib Akhtar opens the bowling for Pakistan. As on Wednesday he generates some good pace straight away and Kamran Akmal takes one in front of his face. The fifth ball of the over races past the high bat of Haddin to oohs from the excitable crowd. The final ball moves away from the batsman slightly and the opener removes his hanging bat from danger. Good start. Australia 0-0 Australia's openers Brad Haddin and James Hopes begin their run chase under the ring of lights at Dubai Sports City. Australia have won 10 and lost nine of their 19 previous games in the UAE. Australia need 208 to win.

Well, it was slightly farcical at the end but a score of 207 will not be easy to achieve on this wicket, particularly with the Australian middle order continuing to look shaky. Neither side will be particularly unhappy with their position, but if I have to stick my neck out I will say that Pakistan should win this. Australia are likely to get away to a much stronger start than the Pakistanis but overs 12-20 will be the key for me. Australia cannot bat as badly as on Wednesday but will they have found a way to score off the spinners. It is going to be interesting. I'll be back with Australia's reply under the lights at Dubai Sports City in approximately 35 minutes. WICKET Over 46 Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Bracken returns and Anjum picks up a single. Ajmal nudges it to point, they go, they stay, Anjum seemed to be the one to call and then regretted it. Clarke returns in and Ajmal is well short. Pakistan 207 Ajmal run out 0 WICKET (x2) Over 45 Symonds is into the attack. Gull gets two to deep square leg before the pair exchange singles. Then Gul top-edges a flighted delivery and it is caught at square leg. Pakistan 206-8 Gul c Hauritz b Symonds 10 (13) And another one! A fantastic cameo innings by the veteran paceman comes to an end when Michael Clarke does superbly to pluck the punched shot from Shoaib out of the sky at cover and Symonds is on a hat-trick. Pakistan 206-9 Akhtar 25 (14) The last pairing of Anjum and Ajmal now at the crease. Ajmal defends to cover. Over 44 Hopes carries on and Shoaib takes a big step forward and drives a full toss over extra cover for four. Hopes sees him making room outside leg and follows him next delivery and Shoaib's waft misses. Hopes drops short and Shoaib rocks back and launches the ball over deep midwicket for six. The crowd are on their feet, and Pakistan flags are waving. A brilliant end to the powerplay for Pakistan as Shoaib then slices a slower ball to the third man boundary. Pakistan 202-7 Gul 7 Shoaib 24 Over 44 Crazy cricket out there as Shoaib flat bats Laughlin down the ground, it is well stopped and after the ball has come back to the striker's end, Akhtar is nowhere to be seen but Haddin completely fails to collect the pick-up. Akhtar then launches Laughlin over the covers for four and follows that by cracking a full, straight delivery through point. A Wild West swing and a miss ends the over. Pakistan 187-7 WICKET Over 43 Ah. Kiss of death from me again, as Afridi falls to James Hopes. He tried to make room to crack the ball over the infield but only succeeds in getting a thick edge and Haddin again takes a superb catch. Pakistan 176-7 Afridi c Haddin b Hopes 41 (40) Shoaib Akhtar is the new man in. Shoaib launches Hopes high, very high, and Hauritz was staring at the sky for a long time before it dropped, through his hands, to the ground at between mid- and long-on. He never really looked like getting that. Pakistan 178-7 Over 42 Laughlin's first ball is short outside off and Afridi just guides that towards third man. His hand comes off the bat and it is weak but Hauritz misfields and it goes to the boundary. Next ball, a better shot, and it is carved to the vacant third man area. He follows that up with a strong on-drive but only a single to long-on. Both long-on and -off come into the circle for Gul, and he is welcomed with two short balls. Pakistan 176-6 Afridi 41 Gul 5 Australia have nine overs still to bowl. Bracken has two left so that is seven from Hopes, Laughlin and Symonds. If Afridi can stay in here there are runs to be had you would think. WICKET Over 41 The crowd, who had just started to feel the Boom and make the consequent noise, are silenced as first ball, Akmal chips weakly to mid-on. Pakistan 161-6 Akmal c Hussey b Laughlin 19 What Pakistan would give for Abdur Razzaq about now, instead it is Umar Gul. Having said that, Laughlin gives him room outside off and Gul drives that through cover for four. A quick single gets Boom Boom on strike and the crowd start up a quick hand-clap. He drops it into the off side for a single and keeps the strike. Pakistan 167-6 Over 40 Talk about incentive. There is a sign that says "Afridi, you make a 100, we give you 1,000,000rs." I'm not sure about exchange rates and things but it sounds good. Pakistan could certainly do with it. Laughlin to bowl from the Sports City End as the third powerplay comes into effect. This is a key phase. If these pair can bat through the next five overs Pakistan could be looking at 220. If not... Akmal picks up over cover and then a single to midwicket. Boom boom, Laughlin tries a slower ball and Afridi steps forward and hits it over the leap of Shane Watson at long-on. Six runs. The next ball is cut powerfully behind square for four more. Pakistan 161-5 This is the first time Pakistan have got the run rate to four an over. Over 39 Hopes returns for Australia. Akmal guides it down to third man and Afridi drops it to square leg for a single. The Mexican wave is going round the colourful crowd. Akmal takes a walk towards Hopes but can only squeeze it out towards the third slip area for another single. Afridi ends the over with a swing and a miss. Pakistan 148-5 Over 38 Afridi swipes away to square leg for a single. Then Bollinger gives Akmal too much room and he middles it on the rise but in the gap. It flies past a diving Symonds between extra cover and mid-off, and races to the boundary. Cracking shot. Bollinger ends with 10-1-26-0. Extremely economical and unlucky not to get a wicket. He certainly surpassed a lot of people's expectations. Pakistan 146-5 Over 37 Full and wide and Akmal frees his arms to slash it, and the thick-edge files to the boundary, before a textbook off drive gets him two more. Akmal steers to third man for a single before Afridi gets one more to long-off. Pakistan 139-5 Afridi 18 Akmal 10 Over 36 Bollinger continues from the Sports City End. Afridi makes room and takes another single to third man. Bollinger is generating some good pace and beats Akmal's push outside the off-stump. The next ball Akmal swivels and pulls behind square for a single. To show how impressive Bollinger has been he has 43 dot balls from his nine overs. Pakistan 131-5 Over 35 Laughlin beats Akmal, who made 48 in the first match, outside the off-stump with his opener. Akmal takes a single before Laughlin has an ambitious appeal when a knee-high full toss raps Afridi on the pads after his pull fails to connect. He should have done better there. Pakistan 129-5 WICKET Over 34 Salman Butt's innings comes to a disappointing end. A good length ball outside off and the Pakistan batsmen pushes it on the up and Andrew Symonds dives forward at mid-off. Pakistan 122-5 Butt c Symonds b Hauritz 57 (112) the wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal joins Afridi. Akmal is immediately off the mark second ball before Afridi slashes it past short third man for four. That's the end of the spinner. 10-1-41-3. If Hauritz is the destroyer, pipes up one Antipodean in the press box, what about Ajmal and Afridi? Pakistan 127-5 Over 33 Butt's 54 has taken 108 balls before the first off this over. Laughlin returns to the attack. Butt nudges a single off the first ball. Afridi misses an attempted hook before smashing the ball to deep cover, but only gets a single. Butt then gets a single to long-off before Afridi stretches to cross-bat the ball down to third man. Pakistan 121-4 It is time for some drinks and the compulsory Down Under by Men at Work. Over 32 Hauritz to continue. A front foot push to deep midwicket gives Butt a couple more before he leans forward and pushes down to long-off for a single. Pakistan 117-4 Over 31 Afridi does not connect completely with a heave and gets a single and Butt works on out to the off-side. Bollinger is maintaining a good line and length here at a pace of around 130kph. Afridi ends the over with an exaggerated forward defensive. Pakistan 114-4 Over 30 Afridi works a single behind square on the first ball. He is keeping the big shots in the locker for now. Butt gets a single to long-on. What was I saying? Just after writing that he dances down the wicket and launches Hauritz high towards the long-off boundary. Laughlin is underneath it and gets two hands to it only to spill it behind for four. A let-off for Pakistan. He should have caught that. Pakistan 112-4 Over 29 Clarke obviously does not trust Symonds with "Boom Boom" Afridi in so Doug Bollinger returns. Afridi gets a single as mid-off comes round to collect, but the roar would have made you think it was at least a four. Butt is forced to push out a decent yorker from the bowler and defends the final ball on the front foot. Pakistan 105-4 WICKET Over 28 Misbah sweeps for a single before Butt brings up his fifty with a push into the leg-side. It is his eleventh ODI fifty, from 91 balls, with six fours. It has been an important inning for Pakistan, particularly after the confusion for the first wicket. Pakistan lose Misbah, as the batsman again tries the reverse paddle round the corner but he top edges the ball and is caught by a diving Hussey. Pakistan 103-4 Misbah c Hussey b Hauritz 12 (24) It brings Shahid Afridi to the crease, who is easily the man with the most posters about him here today. He gets off the mark with a single. Pakistan 104-4 Over 27 Andrew Symonds is into the attack. First up he is too full and Butt drives that for four. Shortly after Butt hits it to third man, all wrist, the four is prevented by a diving Laughlin, but they still run three. The hundred comes up for Pakistan. Pakistan 101-3 Butt 49 Misbah 11 Over 26 Misbah drops to his knee to reverse paddle Hauritz for a couple. There is a wonderful atmosphere here and the turn-out is extremely impressive. There are still empty seats out there but not too many. Most of those are in the sun, and I cannot say I am surprised by that. Pakistan 93-3 Over 25 Misbah manages to scramble for a single after dropping the ball out on the leg side, a good run, I do not recall many quick runs like that in this innings. Bollinger is continuing to bowl very well and the batsmen are struggling to get him away. He's conceded just 14 from his six overs. Pakistan 89-3 Over 24 Hauritz finds a good length but there is not a lot of spin for him. The 12th man Ben Hilfenhaus is out with some drinks, it is a hot one out there. Pakistan 88-3 Butt 42 Misbah 5 Over 23 Bollinger is back into the attack, this time from the Emirates Road End, and immediately has a strong lbw appeal turned down. There was a small inside edge so that was a very good decision by Umpire Asad Rauf. Pakistan 86-3 Over 22 Butt picks up another couple from Hauritz before picking up a single to Hopes at long-on. Misbah gets his first runs on the board with the narrowest of touches as he gets down to flick it to fine leg and it runs away to the boundary. That was hardly convincing, but it is greeted by big cheers. Pakistan 85-3 From this position a run rate of four an over will get Pakistan to just under 200 while six an over will take them to 253. They have certainly found it tough going out there. To be honest, I think 200 is probably not a bad score on this pitch, having seen it play again today. Over 21 Butt picks up two before getting down on his right knee to drive through extra cover. It was all along the ground, and the fielders did not even move. He moves on to 37. There seems to be a little bit of inswing on that final ball to Misbah who pushes it to the fielder at mid-on for no run. Pakistan 78-3 WICKET Over 20 So Pakistan start this over on 71. A run rate achieved of just 3.7, even with eight wickets in the locker that is still a distance from where they would like to be. Both Bracken and Bollinger gave the batsmen little to hit, and only Hopes has received a bit of punishment. The frustration is perhaps getting to Malik. He dances down the wicket looking to launch it over mid-off, he gets an inside edge, and there is confusion over whether it bounced up off his foot before it was caught by a diving Haddin. Another splendid catch. The umpires confer and the verdict flashed up on the scoreboard is the rather unexpected "No ball, free hit" but then the umpires continue to confer, the Australians reach for more drinks and Malik walks. Great work from Haddin as the Aussies claim their third wicket. Pakistan 71-3 Malik c Haddin b Hauritz 7 Misbah comes to the crease in very different circumstances from the last match when his slow and steady knock was enough for victory. Misbah defends out to point. Pakistan 71-3 Over 19 Laughlin continues from the Emirates Road End and a bouncer forces Butt to sway out the way without undue trouble. Butt clips off his legs for a single to Hopes and the same fielder throws it in from third man as Malik moves on to seven. Pakistan 71-2 Over 18 Hauritz to continue. He gives one some air and Malik leans forward and drives it powerfully and it goes underneath the sprawling Bollinger at mid-off and races for four. Next ball Hauritz bowls flatter but it kicks up off the ground and Malik cuts and it is just inches away from a stretching Shane Watson at point. Butt then pushes to long-off for a single. Pakistan 69-2 WICKET Over 17 It is my first chance to have a look at Ben Laughlin. The man from Boxhill, Victoria, who plays for Queensland, featured in three games in South Africa picking up a wicket in each. He is a fast-medium bowler whose, for those genealogically minded, father Trevor played three Tests in the baggy green in the 1970s. What a wonderful start to your one-day international career! The Pakistan skipper is heading back to the pavilion. Laughlin's opening delivery sees Younus try to cut a ball that is just not wide enough and he is caught behind. Younus was furious at himself. Pakistan 58-2 Younus c Haddin b Laughlin 28 (34 balls) Shoaib Malik strolls to the crease and gets off the mark. Pakistan 62-2 Over 16 Nathan Hauritz joins the attack at the end of the second powerplay. Hopes went for 20 from his three. Hauritz has 17 wickets at an average of 33 in one-day internationals. Just two singles from that. It did not look like he was getting too much turn though. Pakistan 58-1 Over 15 Wonderful fielding from Symonds at mid-off prevents a boundary for Butt so next delivery he rocks back and launches the ball over the top of mid-off for four. That is one way to beat the prowling Queenslander in the field. Pakistan 56-1 Over 14 Hopes fires it on to Younus' legs, which is not a good move as the Pakistan captain flicks it behind fine for four runs, and brings the fifty up. Pakistan 51-1 A lot of the Pakistan fans I have been chatting to have been less than optimistic about this series due to the fallibility of the batting line-up and much depends on these two if Pakistan are to get to a par score of 220 or more particularly up to 250. Over 13 Bracken is in to his seventh over now. Butt gets down on one knee to swipe the ball through midwicket but he fails to connect and it bounces down off his pad. I think Butt is getting a little frustrated by Bracken's parsimony but he gets behind the next ball outside off-stump and sensibly defends. The next ball is slightly shorter and he flicks it down to third man. Pakistan 46-1 Over 12 A wonderful back-foot drive through the covers brings Younus four runs and then he leans in, elbow high, to push Hopes straight back down the ground for four. The next ball he almost does it again but it is cut off this time by Bollinger and only a single. Hopes has an lbw shout turn down but he is going round the wicket and it seemed optimistic. Good over for Pakistan. Pakistan 45-1 Over 11 Bracken continues as the second powerplay is under way. Bollinger has nought for 12 with one maiden from that four-over spell. He could have picked up a wicket, an impressive start. There is a big cheer for a man with a guitar in the crowd, some people will just cheer anything. Another solid over from Bracken with just the single to Younus from it. Pakistan 35-1 Butt 16 Younus 14 Over 10 It is Hopes to start his spell. Butt slashes square on the off-side for a single and next ball Younus strokes a lovely cover drive to the boundary. Beautiful shot, no element of luck about that. Pakistan 34-1 Over 9 Bracken continues, and there are vocal contingents of fans for both sides. The Australians have certainly answered Clarke's call for support. Younus drives the penultimate ball and it is another edge and it flies past David Hussey at slip for another four. Pakistan are living on the edge a little bit. The edge of a bat anyway. Pakistan 28-1 Over 8 Younus gets on his toes to guide down to third man for a single. Butt prods forward and gets an edge through the vacant fourth slip position for four fortuitously. I will not tell you what Bollinger mouthed, but he was not impressed. Pakistan 24-1 Over 7 Butt tucks one down to fine leg and Younus finds the same fielder, James Hopes, at third man. Some Australian fans have brought along a big Bay 13 banner in homage to the area at the Melbourne Cricket Ground known for its, let's say, rowdiness. Butt is making a point of walking down the pitch to Bracken and he gives himself a bit of room to cream it through extra cover. It is bullish stuff from the left-hander. Pakistan 19-1 Butt 11 Younus 3 Over 6 Bollinger, who is another making his one-day international debut having played a single Test against South Africa back in January, continues. He lures Younus into a wild swing and a miss to a ball that moves away before beating him through the gate with a ball that comes in and bounces over the stumps. Impressive stuff. Pakistan 13-1 Over 5 A lucky escape for Pakistan as they take a single to the arm of Michael Clarke at cover. Lucky for them Clarke has to change hands but he still gets the throw to the non-strikers' end and Younus would have been a long way short. It is short and wide from Bracken and Butt guides it fine and it beats Bollinger at third man for four. Pakistan 13-1 Over 4 Butt paddles a single down to third man and Younus picks up a single swinging wide of off-stump. Butt leaves the next balls well alone outside off stump. Pakistan 8-1 WICKET Over 3 Butt gets on top of one to cut down down to third man and he is off the mark. There is complete confusion between the Pakistan batsman and as Shehzad sets off for a run and gets to the middle of the pitch, Butt turns back and they both sprint to the non-strikers end as the ball comes back and it is an easy run-out in the end. I thought Shezhad crossed with Butt in the middle before they both turned back, and it should be the other opener who should be back in the pavilion. What a horrible way to go on your debut! Pakistan 5-1 Shehzad run out 4 Younus Khan joins Butt at the crease. Over 2 Doug Bollinger to start at the Dubai Sports City End so it is left-arm seam at both ends. Ahmed Shehzad to face and third ball clips it powerfully from leg to the square boundary. Shehzad is just 17 years old and is making his international debut. He will be relieved to have got the first runs under his belt. Pakistan 4-0 Over 1 The left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken gets the game under way for Australia from the Emirates Road End with two slips in place. The two men outside the circle are at third man and a deep fine leg. Salman Butt leaves the first ball well along outside off stump and another tidy over from Bracken. Pakistan 0-0

Welcome to the second one-day international between Pakistan and Australia from Dubai Sports City.

Australia (Shaun Marsh, who is out of the tour, is replaced by Hussey; Ben Hilfenhaus and Stuart Clark are replaced by Laughlin and Bollinger) Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, David Hussey, Callum Ferguson, James Hopes, Nathan Hauritz, Nathan Bracken, Doug Bollinger, Ben Laughlin Pakistan (Shehzad replaces the injured Nasir Jamshaid) Ahmed Shehzad, Salman Butt, Younus Khan, Misbah ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Iftikhar Anjum, Saeed Ajmal

The first match turned into a relatively straightforward four-wicket victory for the Pakistanis after they had bowled the Australians out for a meagre 169. Much talk before this game has centred on Australia's ability to counter the spin bowling of Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. They surely cannot give as many of their wickets away this game but with talk of them aiming to take just 35-40 runs of the spinners will the Australians be able to post a decent total? It will certainly be a fascinating contest. There are plenty of fans milling around outside, so it looks like being a good crowd this Friday too, and once again there is not a cloud in the sky on this toasty 35C day. The players from both teams have finished doing their last-minute drills and there were stumps and cones aplenty for the Australian boys. Pakistan's Younus Khan won the toss and they have decided to bat. "It's a little bit warm," says Michael Clarke as he contemplates the next few hours in the field. He is not wrong. Follow the day's action live here with The National. Play starts at 3pm.