Pakistan end Australia's run
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Pakistan recorded an historic win over Australia on Saturday to bring the defending champs’ 34-match unbeaten run in the ICC Cricket World Cup to a halt.
The amazing unbeaten record dating back to 1999 was finally broken as the Pakistanis earned a hard-fought four-wicket win on an unpredictable surface at the refurbished R Premadasa Stadium in Khetterama.
Australia, who have won the last three World Cups during the run and were unbeaten in five matches in Group A in this tournament, were bowled out for 176.
The Pakistan momentum was started by pacer Umar Gul (3-30) who bowled superbly with both the new and the old ball. He made the first breakthrough by bowling Shane Watson for nine and returned to clean up the tail by taking the wickets of Jason Krezja and Lee.
Abdul Razzaq (20 not out) finished off match in style by slamming spinner Jason Krezja for two consecutive fours to end on 20 not out. Pakistan finished on 178-6 thanks to two important knocks. Asad Shafiq, a polished right-hander in his second match made 46 from 81 balls, while the aggressive Umar Akmal made a mature 44 not out off 59 balls to guide the side home in an unbroken stand of 46 with Razzaq.
Pace bowler Brett Lee bowled with fire and raised hopes of an Aussie fightback when he got rid of opener Mohammad Hafeez in the third over but his haul of 4-28 could not prevent Pakistan from cruising to victory with 54 balls to spare.
Asked how his team stopped the champs, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said: “We made some good plans against these guys and I think the boys all stuck to these plans. We didn’t try to take some wickets early on, we tried to bowl maiden, good overs ... and all the bowlers did a great job. The credit goes to the bowlers.”
Umar Akmal added: “It's a different sort of enjoyment playing against Australia. They may be world champions but there was no pressure on us so we pulled it off today.”