Cricket: Australia slip to defeat again

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Pakistan recovered from a dismal top-order collapse to beat Australia by 29 runs in Hobart yesterday in a low-scoring World Series match dominated by the bowlers.

Chasing Pakistan's seemingly inadequate total of 149 all out, Australia were dismissed for a paltry 120 on a lively wicket at Bellerive Oval. It was a remarkable performance by Pakistan after their top three batsmen, Aamir Sohail, Zahoor Elahi and Ijaz Ahmed, were out for ducks to leave them in disarray at 7 for 3 early on.

But a spirited innings of 54, the highest score of the match, by Mohammad Wasim lifted his side to a respectable total that ultimately proved enough for his bowlers to defend.

The Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, and fellow fast bowler Mohammad Zahid fully exploited a pitch that offered both movement and variable bounce to dismiss Australia in 41.3 overs.

Mohammad Zahid bowled at extreme pace to remove the all-rounder Greg Blewett and the leg-spinner Shane Warne, compensating for his occasional lack of control that cost three wides and six no-balls. Wasim Akram, in contrast, combined his menace with relentless accuracy to claim 3 for 13 in eight overs.

A quick-fire century by Shivnarine Chanderpaul helped West Indies to extend their winning streak on their tour of Australia with a 36-run defeat of an Australian Country XI in a limited-overs match in Toowoomba yesterday.

West Indies made 275 for 7 from 50 overs and then dismissed their hosts for 239 to rack up their sixth successive win. West Indies had lost their previous seven matches in a row in a disappointing start to the tour.

Chanderpaul's 123 was his second tour century. He was promoted one place up the batting order in the absence of Brian Lara, who was rested after making a return to form with a century in West Indies' seven-wicket win over Australia in the World Series on Sunday.

West Indies made a poor start after their captain, Courtney Walsh, won the toss and chose to bat, losing opener Robert Samuels for one before Chanderpaul and Sherwin Campbell set about the Australian Country attack. They shared a 119-run partnership from 112 deliveries, Campbell going on to make 65.

West Indies went into the match without their injured pace bowler Curtly Ambrose, but still managed to keep the Australian Country batting line- up in check with a part-time bowling attack. Middle-order batsman Michael Robinson top-scored for Australian Country with an unbeaten 50.

WORLD SERIES (Hobart): Pakistan 149 (Mohammad Wasim 54), Australia 120 (Wasim Akram 3-13). Pakistan won by 29 runs. Standings: 1 West Indies (Pl5 Pts6); 2 Pakistan (5-6); 3 Australia (5-4).

TOUR MATCH (Toowoomba, Aus): West Indies 275 for 7 (S Chanderpaul 123, S Campbell 65), Australian Country XI 239 (M Robinson 50no). West Indies won by 36 runs.

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