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Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Haq (R) plays a sweep shot in front of Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade during the third and last One Day International cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Sharjah cricket stadium on September 3, 2012. -AFP Photo

SHARJAH: Michael Hussey and Glenn Maxwell hit fighting half-centuries to help Australia beat Pakistan by three wickets in the third and final one-day international, taking the three-match series 2-1 here on Monday.

Hussey scored 65 for his 39th fifty and Maxwell hit a 38-ball 56 not out to round off a challenging chase of a target of 245 in 47 overs spoiling Pakistan's chances of beating Australia for the first time since 2002.

Opener Mohammad Hafeez topscored with 78 in Pakistan's fighting total of 244-7 after they were put into bat.

Hussey added an invaluable 51 for the fifth wicket with Matthew Wade (22) after Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal (3-37) had threatened to wreck their rival's batting as Australia were struggling at 108-4.

Australia won the first match by four wickets here last week before Pakistan levelled the series with a seven wicket win in the second match in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

But the 37-year-old Hussey, regarded as one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket, kept his cool during a 72-ball knock. He hit seven fours and a six.

Even when Wade was bowled by Abdur Rehman, Hussey fought hard, adding 67 with Maxwell. When Hussey was bowled by Khan, Australia still needed 19 but Maxwell ensured the chase was successful, hitting four fours and three sixes.

Australia got off to a rapid start with David Hussey putting on 44 by the ninth over with David Warner (21), both taking the attack to the Pakistanis from the outset. David Hussey hit three sixes during his 45-ball knock of 43.

But once Ajmal came on the Australian innings faltered as the off-spinner dismissed David (Hussey), Michael Clarke (32) and George Bailey in his first five-over spell but Hussey then foiled Ajmal in his second spell.

Pakistan were also sloppy in the field as they dropped four catches and their wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal spurned one stumping.

Earlier Hafeez's 97-ball knock – his first fifty against Australia in eight matches – helped Pakistan post a challenging total.

Hafeez put on 129 for the opening wicket with Nasir Jamshed (48) and it looked as if Pakistan would post a big total but they were once again derailed by some sustained pace bowling by Mitchell Starc who finished with 4-51.

Jamshed, who hit 97 at Abu Dhabi, was again at his fluent best as he hit six boundaries during his 75-ball knock.

Once Hafeez fell, trapped leg-before by Clarke in the 33rd over Pakistan were hard pressed for runs. Hafeez hit four boundaries and two sixes.

Starc, who took a career best 5-42 in the first match, then came into his own. The lanky left-arm paceman had Asad Shafiq (27) and Umar Akmal (nought) in the same over before ending skipper Misbah-ul Haq's short 25 runs innings in the 47th over.

Azhar Ali made 27 not out to give fillip to Pakistan's total.

Surprisingly, Australia – considered weak against spin on the Asian pitches – have lost only one bilateral limited overs series in the sub-continent and Middle East in 20 years. They lost to India in a three-match series in 2010.

Pakistan and Australia now play three Twenty20 internationals – all in Dubai – on September 5, 7 and 10.


Comments (24) Closed

aisha Sep 04, 2012 01:22am
and again kamran akmal misses a crucial stumping.. how he manages to make a comeback shows how deep sifarish and corruption is nested within our country. how much longer do we have to persist with him? is there no other keeper in the entire country for such a high profile series ?
Atta Khan Sep 04, 2012 05:32am
Shahid afridi, Kamran Akmal and Misbah should go!! New breed of players should come and very poor fielding, poor wicket keeping and mediocre batting later on when they could have scored 270 plus. It is shame that Pak always loose when they are put in winning position. Afridi never scored good innings and today his bowling and fielding was exposed i.e weak. I think Pak coach Watmore should realize and improve fielding and get batting coach as well. Same on pakistani team as always.. YOu dont deserve that money that PCB pays you....Zaka Ashraf, Zardari cronie should resign...
Salman Sep 04, 2012 03:55am
Good effort by Pakistani team,,all the best for T20'. Salman new jersy
Saeed Sep 04, 2012 05:12am
It was a good match. Pakistan should drop Afridi for one-day and keep only for T20
Ali Sep 04, 2012 11:31am
And why do we need Umer Akmal. Please give me a reason quoting his recent past performance.
Fen Tian Sep 04, 2012 04:12am
It should be end of career for Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi.They are wasting their time at this level of competition.Simply there days are over now.Other deserving players need to be given opportunities.
waqas Sep 04, 2012 03:11pm
Pakistan team is good team but fast bolwer donthave many palyers new in the team no confediense but old players no good prformas
favorsplus Sep 04, 2012 09:15am
PCB should replaced 1) Akmal Brothers 2) Misbah 3) Afridi
Tanveer Aftab Sep 04, 2012 11:57am
What a funny comment.
Tanveer Aftab Sep 04, 2012 11:58am
What about Shahid Afridi.
Maroof Haroon Sep 04, 2012 06:44am
We lose this match because of Azhar Ali, who drop the catch of Maxwell in last winning moments.
Fen Tian Sep 04, 2012 02:36pm
Why Misbah man? Why do you want to remove the backbone of Pakistan batting at moment?We have seen in past,he was not there for first test in Sri Lanka and pakistan batting was struggling to make 100.
WA Sep 04, 2012 08:33am
Afridi performance was really poor in whole the series as well as akmal brothers
kashif Sep 04, 2012 11:45am
.there is something very important called mental fitness for sportsman...for we one needs a brain..!
Maroof khan Sep 04, 2012 07:57am
We should bring more accuracy in Pakistan team enough is enough! Maroof khan from Afghanistan
Rehan Sep 04, 2012 07:36am
my humble request to please get rid of akmal brothers and khan lala for upcoming t20 world cup
kirther SG Sep 04, 2012 12:14am
Look at the performance of Akmal brothers and Misbah. Pakistan lost this match because of them.
umer Sep 04, 2012 08:00am
pakistan lost the match because Australia is a far better cricket team
Ali Sep 04, 2012 12:38am
Australia was worried about the dew affect while we were worried about the Misbah affect. Misbah should not play ODI or T20. Umer Akmal must be replaced by a more consistent player. Why so far Akmal is not replaced. When was the last time he had a century or bailed out the team?
Raise Sep 04, 2012 05:12pm
A long as Ramiz Raja and Waqar Yonus are in commentry box praise Umar Akmal, Umar Akmal will be there. Kamran Akmar should not be in the team any more. Misbah is not captain material. .If we can get rid of Afridi as a captian after very good performance in 2011 world cup, why can't we get rid of Misbha? Stop politics and grouping that is what wasting our cricket talent.
Sohail Ahmad Khan Sep 04, 2012 09:12am
please i request the managment of pakistan team and coach to throw out afridi and kamran akmal out of the team inshallah this team will reunite and win. the second matach in which afridi was out won by pakistan .
Fen Tian Sep 04, 2012 02:37pm
Please explain why Misbah should go? His performance is way above the other Pakistan players in past year and half.
favorsplus Sep 04, 2012 09:09am
yes u r right
Shah Sep 04, 2012 01:18pm
Cannot Agree more Than that .