Pakistan kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the semifinals of the World Twenty20 tournament beating Australia by 32 runs in their final Super Eights tie at the R Premadasa Stadium here Tuesday. The Aussies, however, qualified for the last four on the basis of the net run rate.
Put in to bat, Pakistan made 149/6 in their allotted 20 overs with young middle-order batsman Naser Jamshed (55) scoring his second half-century of the tournament -- the first one (56) coming against New Zealand Sep 23.
Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal (32) provided good support to Jamshed after the Asian giants were 29/2 in the sixth over, when Imran Nazir (14) got caught by Aussie skipper George Bailey on the bowling of Shane Watson.
Australia kept taking wickets at regular intervals which kept the Pakistani run rate in check, limiting them to a sub-150 score.
All-rounder Abdul Razzaq (22) played a small cameo in the end to push the Pakistani score.
Mitchell Starc starred with the ball clinching three wicket in his four overs, giving away only 20 runs.
All-rounder Shane Watson, Pat Cummins and Xavier Doherty also chipped in with a wicket each.
With 150 to chase at a run rate of 7.5 per over, Australia started poorly, losing both openers for eight. Man-in-form Watson and David Warner were both trapped in front of the wicket by the fifth over.
Australia could never recover from there and lost wickets at regular intervals.
The Pakistani spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan and skipper Mohammed Hafeez wreaked havoc upon the Australian top order, together taking all seven wickets restricting Australia to 117/7.
Michael Hussey (54 not out) was the only batsman who tried to propel the Aussie innings, but kept losing partners at regular intervals.
With the win, Pakistan improved their head-to-head in T20Is against Australia to 7-4.
For Pakistan to qualify for the semifinals, South Africa must beat India. If India win, then net run-rates will come into effect.