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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pakistan vs Australia 2nd ODI 2009: Analysis, Live Score

(This entry was originally published on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009)

After showing a dominant performance in the first ODI, Pakistan is now going to face Australia tomorrow (24 April 2009) in the second match of the five-match ODI series at the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE. With a 4-wicekt victory in the first match, Pakistan is now leading 1-0 in the series and another victory in Dubai would see them go a step closer to win the ODI series against the world champions, while for Australia winning the second match is badly needed, given that they require a confidence booster victory to get over the poor performance in the second ODI. Pakistan fans are expecting another dominant performance from Pakistan, while Australia fans are looking for a strong come back by the Michael Clarke and his boys.

Match: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd ODI 2009

Date: 24 April 2009

Venue: Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE

Time: 15:00 Local time (11:00 GMT)

Live TV: Ten Sports

The 4 wicket victory margin in the first ODI does not epitomize the kind of dominance Pakistan showed in the opening match. In fact, two Pakistani spinners: Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal- outclassed the Australian batsmen as Australia lost their last 8 wicket only for 27 runs, and thus, setting up a small total of 168 for Pakistan. Pakistani batsmen, though, were not at their best as they also struggled against Australian bowlers, Pakistan still did not have any problem to win the match.

The wicket of Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium helped the spinners a lot and offered swing to the bowlers. Pakistan found the wicket very similar to that of Lahore and Karachi. Australia, on the other hand, was found perplexed in front of Pakistani’s all out spin attack from both ends in the middle of the innings. Both Afridi and Ajmal were at their top and recorded their best bowling figures in ODI cricket in the first match. Afridi picked up 6 wickets for 38 runs, while Ajmal got 2 wickets for just 19 runs from 10 overs. Naturally, Australian team is now more concerned about Pakistan’s spin attack ahead of the second match of the series. In fact, Australian team called for more video footage of spinner Shahid Afridi.

Only one man who performed well for Australia in the first match is all rounder James Hopes who played an unbeaten innings of 48 runs off 46 balls, hitting five 4s and a 6, before picking up 2 wickets for 22 runs in 8 overs. Australian pacers fared well after getting a very small total to defend. Two opening bowlers: Nathan Bracken and Ben Hilfenhaus- started off well to their chase of 169. Bracken conceded only 25 runs in 9.1 overs, but remained wicketless, while Hilfenhaus also picked up 2 wickets. When Pakistani spinners showed all out dominance over Australian batsmen, Australian spinner Nathan Hauritz could not put on anything impressive.

Australian opener Shaun Marsh has been ruled out for the rest of the series as he picked up a hamstring injury during the first match against Pakistan, while diving to reach the crease to complete a single successfully. Marcus North is going to replace Marsh, but it is less likely North will be rushed into the first eleven for the second ODI. In the absence of opener Marsh, Michael Clarke or Shane Watson are expected to pair with Brad Haddin in the opening slot.

Pakistan has been reported to go with the same eleven that played in the first match. Though Pakistan dominated with bowl, they did not bat well. Pakistan would have faced a stiff competition had they been given a target around 250 in the first match. So, Pakistan must be aware of the rustiness they showed in their batting during the first match. Pakistan is now full of confidence after the win in the first match, but the sub-continent team must ensure they are aware of the complacency and can not afford to sit back and relax. In the presence of pacer trio: Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar and Iftikhar Anjum- and two spinners Afridi and Ajmal, Pakistan has a very balanced bowling attack. For batting, Pakistani batsmen need to get back on to their form and start performing.

I still think Australia will face another stiff competition from Pakistani spinners and it would be very tough for the Aussies to adapt to the kind of quality spin attack that Pakistan possesses. Wicket will continue to offer swing and help the spinners. Though the wicket is helpful for the spinner, Australia really lacks a quality spinner for quite sometime now. The return of Shoaib Akhtar was not very impressive in the first match, but the veteran pacer would be in the second match to show he has been back into good form. Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds did not have a very good come back in the opening match, and he is expected to show his good form in the second match. Pacer Stuart Clark, however, had an average return in the first match of the ODI series.

Online Live Score and Updates

Here, I am giving some live score and updates websites from where you can get the live updates of the match:

Cricinfo

Sify sports

action8cricket

cricketnext

Headlinesindia.com

CRICBUZZ

123INDIA.COM

Cricket365

Thatscricket

Pakistan seems to be favorite for the second match, but you can not just rule out Australia’s chances. Australian players need to hold on to their patience while facing the spinners and gradually look to rotate the score in the middle overs without going for big hits. So, I think, both Pakistan and Australia have 50-50 chances in the match. I just hope to see an exciting match.

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