Final: Australia v Pakistan at Lord's, 23 Jun 2001
Mahmood Ahmad

Pakistan innings: 15 Overs, 30 Overs, End of innings,
Australia innings: 15 Overs, End of match,
Pre-game: Toss and Teams,


GILCHRIST AND PONTING BLAZE AUSTRALIA PAST THE TARGET

After scoring magnificent fifties in their winning campaign at The Oval the other day, Gilchrist and Ponting got together once again to produce a quality partnership of 78 off 50 balls, leading Australia to a comprehensive nine-wicket win in the NatWest Series final.

Pakistan got their only success when Mark Waugh was run out while trying to steal a third run off Youhana at square leg. He made 36 off 43 balls and hit four boundaries, while adding 78 with Gilchrist for the first wicket in about 18 overs.

Ponting, the next batsman, immediately got down to business, sweeping Saqlain for his first boundary. Meanwhile, Gilchrist reached his fifty (77 balls), as he drove Saqlain to long off for a single. This was Gilchristís third consecutive fifty in the tournament, after getting 70 and 80, respectively, at Trent Bridge and The Oval.

A boundary, later in the same over, from Ponting brought up the 100 in the 21st over.

Thereafter, runs really began to flow, with both batsmen finding boundaries almost at will. While Ponting slammed Razzaq for the third six of the innings, Gilchrist swept Saqlain to deep mid-wicket boundary to bring up the 50 partnership off just 33 balls.

Azhar came on for the 25th over and didnít get any different treatment. His first over cost ten, including a boundary each for the two batsmen. Two more boundaries for Gilchrist in his next over saw Australia home with nine wickets and more than 23 overs to spare.

The Australian vice-captain remained unbeaten on 76 off 93 balls, which contained 8 fours and 2 sixes. Ponting made 35 not out off 23 balls and hit 5 fours and a six.



COMPOSED AUSSIE OPENERS KNOCK RUNS OFF THE TARGET

Calmness and composure are perhaps the words for the Australian openers - Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh - who have set out after a paltry Pakistan total of 152. As expected, there was some uneven bounce in the wicket along with a bit of swing, yet all proved insufficient for the Pakistan attack, as it failed to dislodge the pair.

The initial part of the Australian innings, not unlike that of Pakistan, didn't see many boundaries. However, unlike the opponents, their score kept rising with runs coming more or less with ease in ones and twos, even in threes.

Wasim bowled well, giving away just one run in his first over. However, Waqar was expensive at the other end as both batsmen helped themselves with boundaries to take the score into double figures.

There was no boundary in the subsequent seven overs. Waugh broke this dry spell by picking up two fours in Waqar's fifth over - the first one a delicate flick off his toes and the second a lovely drive to mid-wicket, the score reaching 39.

Waqar brought Saqlain on for the 12th over. Yet totally unimpressed by the off spinner's stature in ODIs, these two carried on getting runs. A four by Waugh off the last ball of the over hoisted the fifty.

Razzaq came on for the 15th over and Gilchrist welcomed him with a six to deep square leg.

At the 15-over stage, Australia, well on their way towards the target, have reached 66 without loss, with Gilchrist batting on 32 (55 balls) and Waugh on 31 (35 balls).



PAKISTAN BUNDLED OUT FOR A PALTRY TOTAL

A highly professional Aussie attack needed just about 13 more overs to claim the remaining three Pakistan wickets at the cost of 42 runs, 41 of which came during the eighth-wicket partnership between Rashid and Wasim.

As soon as the Pakistani stumper was deceived by a flighted Warne delivery, the remaining wickets fell almost instantly, leaving the Australian camp full of joy as they whiff yet another victory at Lordís after that World Cup final two years ago.

Rashid and Wasim played sensibly, at least to the extent of halting the procession of wickets. Punishing any loose delivery coming their way, they brought up the 150 of the innings in the 38th over.

Rashid was looking composed, having reached 23 with one boundary, when Warne undid his defences with the last ball of what had been a very effective spell. The experienced leggie produced a flighted leg spinner; Rashid went for the sweep but missed the line to be bowled round his legs. His 38-ball innings contained one boundary.

Warne completed his quota of ten overs with three wickets for 56.

Gillespie took the spinnerís place at the Nursery End and struck with only the second ball, inducing an inside edge of Wasimís bat on to the stumps. The veteran all-rounder got 17 off 39 balls and hit two fours.

Harvey returned to the attack and with his third delivery took Pakistanís last wicket Ė Waqar was plumb lbw without opening his account Ė to wrap up the innings for 152 in the 43rd over.

It was the Australian bowlers' day at Lordís, with each one getting wickets. After Warne, with his three wickets, Harvey turned out to be the most successful bowler, getting 2 for 18 in 7.3 overs. Lee also got two at the cost of 20 in eight overs. McGrath and Gillespie bagged one each for 25 and 28 respectively.



FIVE MORE WICKETS KEEP AUSSIES HIGH AND FLYING

Excellent bowling and fielding by the Australians, aided by some slackness on the part of the batsmen, saw Pakistan lose five more wickets to be in real trouble at 112 for 7 after 30 overs.

After reaching the 50-run mark for the loss of two wickets in the 16th over, Pakistan looked to Youhana and Inzamam to bring things back. However, that was not to be, as long as the Aussies kept bowling according to the field.

After surviving on a couple of occasions, Youhana wasnít given another let-off as he scrambled for a single after Inzamam had placed the ball to Ponting at point. This time the throw was deadly accurate, as Youhana failed to recover his ground at the non-strikerís end. He went for 11 (37 balls), with the wicket falling at 60.

Younis Khan departed on the same score Ė caught by Warne at first slip off Lee Ė without troubling the scorer, with Pakistan being suddenly reduced to 60 for 4 in the 20th over.

Razzaq, the next batsman in, got off the mark with a four to fine leg off Harvey. Thereafter, it was mostly singles and on some occasions twos as both batsmen tried to recuperate.

The introduction of Warne into the attack brought some positive changes as Razzaq decided to take on the leg spinner. After steering him for a four in his second over, he hoisted another boundary to long on in the next, getting 17 from the leg spinnerís three overs.

Lee came back on for the 27th over and, after conceding a boundary, he induced an almost frantic Razzaq into pulling a short one straight into the hands of Warne at mid-wicket. Razzaq faced 33 balls to get 24 with the help of 4 fours.

The biggest blow, however, came in the next Warne over when Inzamam, after hoisting the hundred with two boundaries, was adjudged lbw after making 23 off 31 balls.

The master leg spinner struck for the second time in his next over, bowling Azhar for one (6 balls) with a flighted fuller ball.

Rashid Latif (7 off 7) and Wasim Akram have a big task ahead to take the team out of these dire straits. On the other hand, the way the Australians are doing their job, its looks improbable that the remaining batsmen would last their full 50 overs.



AUSTRALIANS ON TOP AS PAKISTAN OPENERS DEPART EARLY

Playing like true champions, the Australians didnít give in after losing the toss on a perfect batting track. Bowling a very tight line and length, they got rid of Elahi early on in the innings, before frustrating Saeed Anwar into making a fatal error in the 15th over.

The Australian attack, comprising McGrath and Gillespie, bowled tidily right from the beginning, not giving away too many runs on a wicket displaying no tricks and offering an even bounce.

Despite an attacking field employed by Steve Waugh, no boundary was seen in the first five overs, by when the score had reached just 16.

However, the jinx was soon broken, as Saleem Elahi drove Gillespie for the first boundary of the innings. Saeed Anwar soon followed suit, hammering McGrath to long off for his first boundary.

The ace fast bowler, however, retaliated in the same over, getting Elahi caught at the wicket for 10 (23 balls), the wicket falling at 28 in the seventh over.

With the new batsman Youhana taking his time to settle down - his first run came off the 15th ball - and Saeed seemingly getting over the shock of the early wicket, the score struggled to 31 in 10 overs.

The introduction of Harvey and Lee, after McGrath and Gillespie had bowled six overs each, didnít change the situation much, as Pakistani batsmen were made to work hard for every run.

This very thing undid Saeed who does not like to be bogged down for two long. Trying to get after Harvey, he managed only to offer a dolly to Bevan at long on; the scorecard showing 47 for 2 in the 15th over.

After 15 overs, Youhana has reached 6 off 28 balls, while Inzamam is yet to face his first ball.



PAKISTAN WIN THE TOSS AND BAT FIRST AT LORDíS

Waqar Younis has won the toss and elected to bat first in the NatWest Series final against Australia at Lordís.

Pakistan have made just one change to their side, with Inzamam, having recovered from his hand injury, coming back in place of young Faisal Iqbal.

Australia, as most would have expected, have made three changes to the side: Damien Martyn, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne come back in, while Matthew Hayden, Symonds and Fleming go out.

The wicket at Lordís, according to a report, is suitable for batting, especially early on in the day. However, it is expected to become uneven as the day wears on, hence the decision by the Pakistan captain.

© CricInfo

Date-stamped : 23 Jun2001 - 22:29