Australia’s 34-match unbeaten World Cup streak ends (Second Lead)

March 20th, 2011 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 19 (IANS) Pakistan Saturday ended Australia’s 34-match unbeaten streak in World Cup cricket and in the process topped Group A here at R. Premadasa Stadium.

Umar Gul took 3-30 while youngsters Asad Shafiq (46) and Umar Akmal (44 not out) did their part as Pakistan defeated Australia by four wickets.

The result meant that Australia suffered its first defeat in a World Cup match since May 1999. Incidentally Pakistan was the last team that defeated the Aussies.

Brett Lee took four wickets but was unable to defend Australia’s paltry 176.

Earlier, Pakistan catapulted itself within striking distance of topping Group A by bowling out defending champions Australia in 46.4 overs. Fast bowler Gul took 3-30 while Abdul Razzaq picked up 2-8 to help Pakistan skittle out the Australians for their lowest World Cup total since 1992.

The Australians were never comfortable facing a fired up Pakistan attack on a two-paced wicket with just Brad Haddin (42) and Michael Clarke (34) putting up any worthwhile resistance.

Gul scalped Shane Watson (9) early while Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting continued his poor run of form as he fell to left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz for 19.

Gul was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers as bowled with perfect line and length to keep the Aussies on the back foot. Razzaq was also in top gear after a string of poor bowling spells earlier in the tournament.

Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez bowled impressively and finished with 1-26 from 10 overs. Australia lost its last seven wickets for just 86 runs.

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