Australia cruise to win

PA Sport
Michael Clarke top scored for Australia with 66
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Michael Clarke top scored for Australia with 66

Mitchell Starc claimed five wickets and captain Michael Clarke and George Bailey hit half-centuries as Australia went one up in the one-day international series with a four-wicket win over Pakistan in Sharjah.

Starc claimed five for 42, with James Pattinson also performing well to return an impressive three for 19 off 9.1 overs as the hosts were bowled out for 198.

Pakistan struggled throughout the innings, with Asad Shafiq and Umar Akmal hitting half-centuries but Nasir Jamshed and captain Misbah-ul-Haq the only other batsmen reaching double figures.

Their struggles began when they lost opener Mohammad Hafeez and then Azhar Ali in quick succession with just 28 runs on the scoreboard. Hafeez went with the total on 20, having scored four, when he was caught by David Hussey off the bowling of Pattinson. The same bowler struck again when he removed Azhar for five.

When Jamshed became the third wicket to fall Pakistan were plunged further into trouble with the total on 40, caught by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off Starc.

Shafiq and Misbah, who had decided to bat after winning the toss, showed some resistence as they put on 59 runs for the fourth wicket. Misbah went for 26, bowled by Dan Christian, but again Pakistan showed some fight. Shafiq and Umar Akmal had taken the total to 160 when the former was bowled to become Starc's second victim.

But Starc combined with Clarke to strike two decisive further blows, with Kamran Akmal dismissed for four and Shahid Afridi for a duck to leave Pakistan at 175 for seven. Umar Akmal then fell to Starc for 52 and his dismissal ended Pakistan's last real hope of setting a challenging target.

Australia's reply did not begin that well as they lost both openers with 42 on the board. David Warner was the first go go for five when he was bowled by Hafeez. He was followed back to the pavilion by Wade when he was caught by Misbah off Afridi for 10.

The visitors were reduced to 57 for three when Mike Hussey was trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal for five and then his brother David fell for three. Clarke put together a patient partnership of 54 with Bailey for the fifth wicket but Clarke fell for 66 when trapped lbw by Hafeez, leaving the away side on 121 for five.

Bailey then combined with Glenn Maxwell (38) to put on 63 for the sixth wicket, with Australia 15 runs short of victory when they were parted. But Bailey saw his side home with an unbeaten 57 as Australia reached 199 for six with 10 balls remaining.d

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