Cricket Live 20 March 2015

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 2:00:21 AM

That innings from Kohli will be etched into the annals of cricket forever. The composure he showed in the face of crisis, never playing a shot in anger, he's just a freak. That shot off Faulkner which he powered over long-off with his wrists in the 18th over - that was the highlight.

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It was a comfortable victory on paper, but the match was firmly in the balance when Wahab removed David Warner and Michael Clarke in the space of just eight deliveries to leave Australia in the chase.

As the crowd hung on every ducked bumper and menacing stare, Wahab dug another one in short, and Watson took the bait when on 4, hooking straight to Rahat Ali at deep backward square leg, who spilled the simplest of chances. The highlights of Wahab's fiery spell Instead, Watson survived, and he and Smith added 65 crucial runs together from that point in what proved to be a match-winning stand.

Earlier Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, playing Australia for the first time in an ODI in their backyard, won the toss and elected to bat — a decision that would doubtless have pleased Hazlewood, who returned in place of Pat Cummins. Today's Headlines

But it was another New South Wales quick, left-armer Mitchell Starc, who set the tone for the co-hosts, drawing an edge from the in-form Sarfraz Ahmed with the score at 20 in the fifth over.

At a tick over kph, the ball flew to the right of Watson at first slip, who did brilliantly to dive and hold the sharpest of chances. It was the first of a series of aggressive mid-pitch meetings throughout the course of the match.

Shortly after Sarfraz departed, Hazlewood took the wicket of Ahmed Shehzad with the first ball of his third over as Clarke moved low to his right to claim a healthy edge at second slip. In the space of four balls, two wickets had fallen and the complexion of the contest had shifted.

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And two deliveries later, it almost shifted again. Incredibly, for the second time at this tournament, the Zings bails lit up but failed to fully dislodge as Misbah — who had shuffled across his crease and exposed his leg stump to Hazlewood — avoided a duck by the narrowest of margins in what turned out to be his final ODI innings.

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Misbah gets a lucky break The skipper then set about rebuilding the innings along with his No. It was the first of three wickets to fall for just 27 in the space of six overs, sending the underdogs into a mid-innings hole from which they never convincingly recovered.

The Australians had actually appealed for Akmal's wicket earlier in the innings when he had cut Maxwell away through point, and again the Zings bails lit up.

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Haddin motioned for a referral while indicating that he may have clipped the bails with his gloves, and replays showed the 'keeper's hunch to be correct. Shahid Afridi 23 off 15 blasted Mitchell Johnson over point for the st six of a remarkable career, and continued to swing wholeheartedly until it predictably proved his undoing, Finch accepting a simple chance on the fence to give Hazlewood a second wicket.

But Pakistan remained all at sea as the innings wore on, and Hazlewood returned to claim another couple of wickets and ensure he would boast the most impressive figures among what had been a clinical all-round bowling display.

The right-hander was plumb lbw as he looked to play through the leg side and the ball nipped back to strike him on the pads. His decision to review after conferring with David Warner did nothing but deny Australia a review for the remainder of the innings.

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Warner, unsurprisingly, looked a man intent on taking care of business in a hurry, entertaining the Adelaide faithful with his usual array of drives and cuts as he sped to 24 at better than a run a ball. With the score at 49 in the ninth over, the left-hander virtually leapt for a high, wide offering from Wahab, failing to control his swiped attempt at a cut shot and picking out Rahat at third man.

As he had done in Sydney against Sri Lanka, Smith used his feet beautifully to the spinner, and Shahid Afridi had little to offer by way of response. Twice he backed away to leg stump and swatted the ball behind square on the off side, and from the first of these extraordinary shots he was given a reprieve as Sohail Khan failed to hang onto a tough running chance.

It was all the impetus Maxwell needed. With a couple of beautifully executed cover drives and a hook for six, he — and Australia — were away.

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For the second time in recent weeks, Watson played the sheet anchor role as his younger partner teed off, though he did remind everyone of his own aggressive instincts with a couple of thunderous pull shots.

Wahab returned at the death, but it was too little, too late, and he vented his frustration with a huge verbal spray to which Watson simply responded with a smile.

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