Australia 6-199 (Michael Clarke 66, George Bailey 57*, Saeed Ajmal 3-30) beat Pakistan 198 (Asad Shafiq 56, Umar Akmal 52, Mitchell Starc 5-42).
Mitchell Starc ripped through the strong batting line up of Pakistan with his lethal fast bowling as Australia won the inaugural ODI in a commanding way.
Pakistan managed 198 runs before they were bowled out in 45.1 overs and Australia chased the target successfully by forcing 199 runs for the loss of six wickets in 48.2 overs.
The first One Day International of the three match series was held on Tuesday, August 28, 2012, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Mitchell Starc (Australia) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his wonderful bowling performance in the game.
Earlier, Misbah-Ul-Haq, the captain of Pakistan, won the toss and opted to bat first on a placid wicket. The innings was initiated by Mohammad Hafeez along with Nasir Jamshed, they found it hard to score the runs freely and the first was caught by David Hussey off James Pattinson for four mere runs. The first wicket was gone at 20 runs and Pattinson struck again when he got rid of Azhar Ali eight runs later.
Misery for the Green Shirts continued when Nasir Jamshed was caught behind by the wicket keeper, Matthew Wade off Mitchell Starc for 23 as the total reached 40 runs in 9.5 overs. Asad Shafiq and Misbah-Ul-Haq got together at the crease and kept on creeping while securing their ends. Asad Shafiq hit the first six of the innings in the 22nd over and the score was enhanced to 98 at the end of the 24th over.
The duo was going smooth when Misbah-Ul-Haq was clean bowled on the fourth ball of the following over for 26. Umar Akmal took guards in the centre and made his intentions clear by dispatching a six on the third ball of the 27th over. He added another four in the 28th over while Asad Shafiq got a six in the same over. Both young guns took back the advantage from the Kangaroos and Asad Shafiq achieved his seventh ODI fifty on the fifth ball of the 32nd over.
Pakistan reached 159 runs for the loss of four wickets at the end of the 35th over when ‘batting Powerplay’ was taken. The nightmare started for the home side as Asad Shafiq was clean bowled by Starc on the third ball of the 36th over. The batsmen were unable to utilise the Powerplay overs and they were cornered in the 40th over when Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi lost their wickets for 4 and 0 runs respectively. The Green Shirts managed 16 mere runs, lost three wickets and were reeling at 7-175 at the end of the 40th over.
Umar Akmal was their last hope which vanished for 52 on the first ball of the 42nd over and the entire side was sent back to the pavilion for 198 runs with 29 balls to spare.
Mitchell Starc was the star performer with the ball and grabbed his career best figures of 5-42, James Pattinson held three whereas Mitchell Johnson and Daniel Christian shared one wicket each.
Pakistan got an early breakthrough when the stumps of David Warner were uprooted by Mohammad Hafeez for five runs at the total of 13. The Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, joined in next with Matthew Wade, started playing his shots and sent the ball rolling out of the rope twice in the 9th over bowled by Aizaz Cheema. Wade remained shaky against the spinners and Shahid Afridi claimed his wicket on the last ball of the 11th over.
Michael Hussey associated with Clarke next as Misbah-Ul-Haq introduced Saeed Ajmal in the 16th over. Ajmal trapped Hussey leg before wicket on the very first ball and completed his 100th wicket in the ODI. David Hussey was caught by Misbah in the first slip on the last ball of the 18th over off Saeed Ajmal for three mere runs and the Aussies were in trouble by losing their fourth wicket for 67 runs.
George Baily provided useful support to Michael Clarke, both handled the pressure well and the latter achieved his 54th ODI fifty on the first ball of the 23rd over. The visitors enhanced the score to 119 runs in 33 overs when Clarke opted for the batting powerplay.
Mohammad Hafeez provided the much needed breakthrough for Pakistan on the fifth ball of the following over when Michael Clarke was declared leg before wicket for 66 off 96 deliveries with 5 fours. The fifth wicket fell at 121 as Glenn Maxwell replaced his skipper as Bailey was creeping well at the other end.
Maxwell was dropped by the wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal on the second ball of the 38th over from Saeed Ajmal for 8 runs and 150 of the innings was scored in the 41st over. Australia required 48 runs from the last 54 balls as the sloppy fielding of Pakistan continued when George Bailey was dropped at 39 by Asad Shafiq on the fourth ball of the 43rd over from Azhar Ali. Maxwell made life easy for the visitors by dispatching 13 runs in the 45th over off Sohail Tanvir with one six and one four.
The sixth wicket partnership stabilised the innings for the Kangaroos, added 63 valuable runs and took the score to 184 when Saeed Ajmal removed Glenn Maxwell for 38 runs. George Bailey completed his third ODI fifty in the 48th over, remained unbeaten for 57 off 88 deliveries with 1 six and 1 four as the visitors thrashed 199 runs with four wickets in hand and 10 balls remaining.
Saeed Ajmal was the highest wicket taker with three, Mohammad Hafeez got two and Shahid Afridi claimed one.
Australia won the entertaining match by a margin of four wickets and leads the three match series 1-0. The second game will be played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on August 31, 2012.