Australia escape to victory

Pakistan capitulate from strong position

Last Updated: 27/04/09 10:31pm

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Clarke: led from the front

Clarke: led from the front

Sky Bet

Third ODI
Abu Dhabi
Australia 198-7 (M J Clarke 66) v Pakistan 171
Australia beat Pakistan by 27 runs

Michael Clarke starred with bat and ball as Australia won a low-scoring third one-day international against Pakistan by 27 runs.

Clarke, leading his country in the five-match series as Ricky Ponting is being rested, hit 66 as Australia posted a score of 198-7 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan looked well on course to overhaul the modest target when opening pair Salman Butt and Ahmed Shehzad shared a stand of 95 in 22 overs.

But the dismissal of Butt, caught at slip by Clarke off Nathan Hauritz's bowling two short of his half-century, prompted a spectacular collapse as Pakistan subsided to 171 all out in 47.1 overs.

Off-spinner Hauritz (2-25) took his second wicket in as many balls as Younus Khan was surprised by some extra bounce and lobbed a catch to midwicket for a golden duck.

Clarke (3-15) then took centre stage with his part-time left-arm spin, removing Shehzad (40), Misbah-ul-Haq (9) and Shahid Afridi (6) to reduce Pakistan to 123-5.

And although Shoaib Malik resisted bravely until being run out for 30, Australia's seamers ran through the tail to complete the turnaround.

Slow going

Earlier, Australia had also struggled against the slow bowlers as they crawled along at a scoring rate of less than four runs an over.

After being reduced to 91-4 at the mid-point of the innings, Clarke and Calum Ferguson produced a crucial fifth-wicket alliance of 53.

Clarke completed to his 35th one-day international half-century before being caught and bowled by leg-spinner Afridi (2-31) for 66 off 93 balls, including eight boundaries.

Ferguson followed for 41, one of Umar Gul's (3-38) three victims, but a late flurry from Hauritz (18no) saw Australia finish just shy of the 200 mark.

Australia hold a 2-1 lead and can clinch the series with victory in the fourth one-day international on Friday, also in Abu Dhabi.

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