IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Australia push to turn corner after opening setback


afridiMatch facts
April 24, 2009
Start time 3pm (11.00GMT)

Big Picture
After a bad start for Australia and a strong one for Pakistan, both teams are chasing more improvement for the second match of the five-game one-day series in Dubai on Friday. Pakistan’s first engagement since the terror attacks in Lahore showed some batting rustiness, but there was no problem with their slow bowling, which remains a key problem for Australia despite the denials of Michael Clarke.

Australia’s play in the middle order was awful as they lost 8 for 27 on the way to a four-wicket defeat. They have called for more video footage of Shahid Afridi, who took six wickets, and the offspinner Saeed Ajmal before the second game, but given their performance against slow bowlers over the past few months, it would be a surprise to see a major change in results.

Form guide (last five ODIs, most recent first)
Pakistan WLLWW
Australia LWLLL

Watch out for
Shahid Afridi dominating a match should not be a surprise, but the way he did it with the ball - and not the bat - was breathtaking. Afridi’s 6 for 38 from 10 overs were career-best figures and he swept through Australia to set up the success. A 16-ball 24 also gave the team some momentum when they threatened to make the small chase overly difficult.

Another allrounder, James Hopes, had a fine day too, but his strong contributions of 48 not out and 2 for 22 off eight were dwarfed by Afridi’s output. Hopes has developed into a handy performer with bat and ball and now needs his team-mates to fire around him.

Team news
Marcus North is in the squad following Shaun Marsh’s quick exit with a hamstring injury, but his late arrival will probably rule him out of game two. Marsh returns home and his gap will require some series reshuffling, with Michael Clarke and Shane Watson contenders to partner Brad Haddin at the top of the order.

Australia (possible) 1 Michael Clarke (capt), 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Shane Watson, 4 David Hussey, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 James Hopes, 8 Nathan Hauritz, 9 Stuart Clark, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus.

Following their encouraging opening, Pakistan are unlikely to do too much to their side, which needs match practice following their unscheduled break. Expect Afridi and Ajmal to create more problems, especially if they work in tandem.

Pakistan (possible) 1 Salman Butt, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Younis Khan, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Nasir Jamshed, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Shoaib Akhtar, 10 Iftikhar Anjum, 11 Saeed Ajmal.

Pitch and conditions
This is the last game in Dubai before the series switches to Abu Dhabi for Monday’s match. Clear and warm conditions are predicted for the day-night encounter.

Stats and Trivia

* Pakistan have never been beaten by Australia in four ODIs in the United Arab Emirates

* In 18 games in the UAE Australia have won 10 and lost eight.

* Both Afridi and Ajmal recorded personal-best figures in the opening contest

“We don’t have exposure in domestic cricket in Australia to that style of bowling. It is difficult when the first time you get it is when you step up to international level … My shoulder will probably get worn out throwing offspinners and doosras.”
Australia’s coach Tim Nielsen looks for ways to fix his team’s spin problems

“It was a fantastic team effort. The fast bowlers did well to check the openers and then Afridi and Saeed Ajmal bowled very well. We wobbled a bit when batting but all’s well that ends well.”
Younis Khan after the opening success
Source:Cricket News

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