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Australia v Pakistan at Sydney
19 Jan 2000 (Rick Eyre)

Debut MacGill stars in Aussie win

An outstanding limited-overs international debut by Stuart MacGill helped give Australia victory by 81 runs over Pakistan in the sixth match of the 2000 Carlton & United Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground this evening. MacGill took 4/19 from ten overs to trigger a middle-order collapse after the Pakistan openers had begun a frantic pursuit of the Australian total. Australia have now taken a four point lead over Pakistan, who have one match in hand.

In hot, humid mid-afternoon conditions, Steve Waugh won the toss and elected to bat. The pitch, while the same one used for the low-scoring game between Australia and India last Friday night, was now flatter and less likely to seam. Brett Lee was rested with Stuart MacGill coming in for his first one-day international appearance for Australia. Azhar Mahmood came into the Pakistan side replacing Wajahatullah Wasti.

Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist opened the batting as usual for Australia in hot, sunny conditions, against the bowling of the old firm of Wasim and Waqar. Akram opened tidily but Waqar gave up fifteen runs in his three over spell and was quickly replaced by Abdur Razzaq.

With the score at 23 without loss, Wasim Akram struck twice at the start of the ninth over of the day. Gilchrist (13) attempted a cut shot outside off but didn't have the correct line and gave an edge to Moin Khan.

Acting Australian vice-captain Ricky Ponting came to the crease and was trapped plumb lbw first up with a ball pitching on middle and leg. Ponting completed his third consecutive duck of the Carlton & United Series. It is worth remembering that he broke a string of three ducks in Test innings earlier this season by knocking up 197 in his following knock against Pakistan at the WACA.

Two wickets in successive deliveries gave the Pakistan captain his 398th and 399th ODI career wickets. Michael Bevan survived the hat-trick ball by taking a legbye. Later that over, Mark Waugh played a lofted square cut to the boundary to bring up his 7000th odi career run, the first Australian to reach the milestone.

Bevan and Waugh added ninety runs for the third wicket Waugh lost his wicket on the last ball of the 25th over. Second-change bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who appeared discomforted by the heat during his initial two-over stint, returned to remove Mark Waugh's off stump from the first over of his second spell. Waugh made 43 from 71 deliveries, and in conjunction with his New South Wales team-mate Bevan, unsettled the field with their quick running between wickets.

Bevan was fortunate on 38 when Moin Khan fumbled and missed a simple stumping off Saqlain Mushtaq, who was the sixth bowler used. Steve Waugh became Shoaib Akhtar's second victim of the day at the end of the 29th over. Beaten for pace attempting a cover drive, the Australian captain lost his off stump after scoring 6.

Bevan (77) played his finest innings of the series to date including some superb strokes to the boundary. He fell in the 38th over to Azhar Mahmood, just two runs short of his highest ODI score on his home ground. Having smashed the Pakistani all-rounder for his seventh boundary of the innings, he lofted the very next ball to long-on where Shoaib Akhtar took a simple catch. The extrovert Pakistani speedster waved to the crowd as they rose in acknowledgement of Bevan's innings, in which he faced 97 deliveries.

Shoaib had another moment where he was the centre of attention at deep fine leg, when he threw a return from the fence that hit umpire Steve Davis in the back. No harm was done to ball or umpire.

Play had been interrupted for sixteen minutes due to rain during the 33rd over. No reduction in overs was required because of the delay. Conditions became much easier for the players after the shower with a southerly change bringing the temperature down substantialy.

Damien Martyn and Andrew Symonds added 68 for the sixth wicket before Martyn skied a ball off Wasim Akram to Ijaz Ahmed, having completed 50. Martyn earned himself a spot in history with that dismissal, becoming Wasim Akram's 400th career ODI victim. The Pakistani captain received a standing ovation from the SCG crowd. He has taken 110 wickets more in his fifteen-year career than the second leading ODI wicket-taker, team-mate and new-ball partner Waqar Younis (290).

Symonds (47 from 26 deliveries) played an innings of rare brutality, which included one of the shots of the season, when, facing Shoaib Akhtar, he backed away to leg stump to smash the ball through mid-off for four, picking up the line of the ball with rare speed. Symonds hit two sixes, one to long off from Saqlain Mushtaq, and one flicked with remarkable ease off the hip over backward square leg off Abdur Razzaq.

Symonds fell when he lofted Razzaq to Azhar Mahmood. Shane Lee (26 from 13 balls) played a bright late-order cameo, but Fleming went first ball and MacGill, in his first ODI appearance, was run out going for a quick single.

Wasim Akram (3/40) was the best of the Pakistan bowlers. Shoaib Akhtar and Abdur Razzaq took two wickets each, while Saqlain Mushtaq (1/64 from 8.4 overs) had his figures severely damaged by one over which cost 22.

Australia, who had been on a pace of around 250-260 for most of their innings, smashed 101 runs in the last ten overs to finish all out for 286 in 49.4 overs. Some sloppy fielding did not help matters for the tourists at all. Slow bowling by the Pakistanis, which saw the innings run eighteen minutes overtime, meant that they were docked one over when it was their turn to bat. Match referee Cammie Smith made allowances for the hot conditions earlier in the afternoon, which otherwise could have left Pakistan facing around 47 overs.

Pakistan launched into their pursuit of 287 from 49 overs with all guns blazing. Glenn McGrath, who had taken 4/8 from his last ten overs on this pitch last Friday, came in for special treatment from Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed as Pakistan registered their first 50 runs in 5.2 overs.

The first ball of the innings saw Anwar struck amidships by McGrath, requiring a brief lie-down on the field, but from then on Pakistan launched a ferocious onslaught as they attempted to make amends for a substandard effort against Australia during the afternoon.

Ten runs off McGrath's first over were followed by nineteen off his second. Ijaz slugged McGrath over the long-on boundary before being dropped by Bevan off a skier which swirled in the gusty south-easter. The next ball was smashed to the mid-off fence.

It was left to Damien Fleming from the southern end to make the first brreakthrough of the innings in the fourth over. Ijaz went for another slog which was lofted to Steve Waugh at mid-wicket. Ijaz made 23 from just eleven deliveries, the opening stand 34 from 3.2 overs.

With McGrath's first three overs going for 36 runs, Waugh made an extremely unexpected bowling change in bringing on trundler Damien Martyn. Eleven runs later and Martyn's one-over spell came to an end. McGrath returned to replace Martyn, but the first ball of his second spell saw Saeed Anwar run out, the result of a brilliant return from the outfield by Martyn, uprooting middle stump. Anwar made 23 from 25 deliveries.

It was a tough evening at the office for Glenn McGrath. His fifth over of the match, and the eleventh of the Pakistan innings, saw Abdur Razzaq despatch each of the first five deliveries for four. McGrath was duly put out of his misery for the time being with the figures of 5-0-61-0.

His replacement at the northern end was Stuart MacGill, coming on for his first spell in one-day internationals. The leg-spinner struck with the final ball of his first over. Abdur Razzaq failed to pick the spin, and lofted a cover drive straight to McGrath - making amends for his bowling failures earlier on. Razzaq faced 38 balls for his 40.

At the end of fifteen overs, with the fielding restrictions coming to an end, Pakistan were 3/105.

The Pakistani run-rate began to fall as MacGill took control, but the next wicket to fall was claimed by Shane Lee, who trapped Inzamam ul-Haq (12) plumb lbw. MacGill took his second wicket when he had Yousuf Youhana (10) caught behind by Adam Gilchrist at the start of the 21st over.

With Moin Khan and Azhar Mahmood at the crease, Pakistan's required run-rate was, for the first time in the innings, in excess of their actual run-rate.

MacGill claimed his third wicket of the innings when he removed Azhar Mahmood for just one run. Azhar lobbed a cover drive taken by Shane Lee in a simple overhead catch.

McGrath was switched to the southern end following a tidy spell by Mark Waugh, and struck from the sixth ball of his new spell, Moin Khan (13) popping a simple catch to Symonds at mid off.

MacGill claimed his fourth wicket of the night in the 29th over. Saqlain Mushtaq (2) attempted a sweep shot to a ball pitching in front of leg stump. The ball struck him on the pads and though there was some turn from the leg, umpire Steve Davis adjudged that the ball would have collected the stumps. Pakistan had slumped to 8/143, having lost their last six wickets for 43 runs.

The match dragged out into an exercise in maximising the net run-rate for Pakistan after the fall of the eighth wicket, Wasim Akram (23) and Waqar Younis (37) actually putting together the best partnership of the innings, 43 in 9.2 overs.

Waqar survived a third umpire call on 18 when he played the ball low to Steve Waugh at mid-wicket. The Australian captain was unsure whether he had taken the catch, and none of the TV replays gave a clear view, Simon Taufel having no option but to give the green light to the batsman.

Akram was the ninth wicket to fall when he lofted Shane Lee to mid-wicket for MacGill to take the catch.

The last wicket stand dragged on for seven overs, as encouraged by the playing conditions surrounding calculation of net run-rates, ie, the longer Pakistan batted, the more favourable the net run-rate. With Steve Waugh using everyone bar himself, Ponting and Gilchrist as bowlers, the end came when Waqar was trapped lbw by Andrew Symonds. Pakistan, on fire early in the innings and then looking like they might not make 150, were dismissed for 205 in 45.2 overs.

Waqar's 37 represented his highest score in 179 one-day internationals. Shoaib Akhtar remained unbeaten on 3, taking his ODI career average against Australia to 49.

Stuart MacGill, who finished his first one-day international with 4/19 from ten overs, won the man of the match award for his efforts. Shane Warne may not be needed back so quickly.

Pakistan now head to Hobart for Friday's daytime clash with India, who need a win in this match to keep within touch of Australia and Pakistan for a chance of reaching the best-of-three finals.


Date-stamped : 19 Jan2000 - 16:21