Cricket: Pakistanis fall foul of wily Warne: Australia's all-round effort negates Wasim Akram's early breakthrough to secure opening World Series Cup victory in Sri Lanka

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Australia 179-7; Pakistan 151-9. Australia win by 28 runs

PAKISTAN collapsed to an unexpected 28-run defeat against Australia in the four-nation Singer World Series Cup in Colombo yesterday. They made heavy weather of an easy-looking target of 180, especially when they were coasting at 98 for 2 but then lost seven wickets for 68.

A fine all-round performance by the Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne earned him the man of the match award. He scored an invaluable 30 runs to retrieve his side from an almost hopeless position and went on to claim three Pakistan wickets for 29.

Australia scored 179 for 7 in 50 overs on a sluggish wicket. Confronted with a hostile opening spell from Wasim Akram - 2 for 8 in six overs - half their side were dismissed for 85.

Michael Bevan and Ian Healy added 43 runs for the sixth wicket and then Healy and Warne shared 46 for the seventh to take their side's total on the fringes of respectability. Bevan was the top scorer with 37, Healy and Warne contributed 30 each.

Australia's fast bowler Glenn McGrath struck an early blow when he bowled the Pakistani opener Aamir Sohail for nought in his first over.

Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul Haq shared a fine 75-run second wicket partnership before Warne deceived the latter with a big leg break. Inzamam stepped out of the crease for a big hit, missed and was stumped by Healy.

Opener Saeed Anwar anchored the Pakistani knock, but he was forced to retire with cramp on 43 when Pakistan were then 80 for 2.

Warne struck again four overs later when he forced Basit Ali to spoon a return catch. Medium-pacer Steve Waugh increased the pressure from the other end by dismissing Rashid Latif.

Salim Malik, the Pakistan captain, and Wasim Akram struggled as they added 30 runs in 10 overs before McGrath, returning for his second spell, yorked Wasim for 16.

Saeed returned to the crease at the fall of that wicket but did not last long when Waugh struck two blows with successive deliveries. Saeed was caught by McGrath and Salim, the only batsman who could have steered Pakistan to victory, spooned a simple catch to his opposite number, Mark Taylor, at extra cover.

Mark Taylor attributed the victory to good fielding and bowling. 'We have made a good start and would obviously like to built on that.'

Intikhab Alam, the Pakistani manager, said his players could learn from Australia's example. 'We conceded about 30 unnecessary runs which proved costly in the end,' he said. 'Also, the batsmen ran poorly between the wickets. I liked the way Australia took quick singles to keep the scoreboard moving.'

AUSTRALIA

*M A Taylor lbw b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . .8

M J Slater c Asif b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . .4

D C Boon b Akram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

M E Waugh st Rasid b Mushtaq. . . . . . .23

S R Waugh c Rashid b Mushtaq. . . . . . . .1

M G Bevan c Mushtaq b Salim. . . . . . . .37

I A Healy not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

S K Warne b Wasim. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

C J McDermott not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Extras (b7 lb9 w9). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Total (for 7, 50 overs). . . . . . . . . . .179

Fall: 1-11 2-34 3-48 4-49 5-85 6-128 7-174.

Did not bat: G D McGrath, T B A May.

Bowling: Wasim Akram 10-2-24-3; Waqar Younis 8-2-43-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 10-1-34-2; Akram Raza 10-1-26-1; Aamir Sohail 7-0-17-0; Salim Malik 5-0-19-1

PAKISTAN

Saeed Anwar c McGrath b S Waugh. . . .46

Aamir Sohail b McGrath. . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Inzamam-ul-Haq st Healy b Warne. . . .29

Basit Ali c and b Warne. . . . . . . . . . . . .0

*Salim Malik c Taylor b S Waugh. . . .22

Rashid Latif c Taylor b S Waugh. . . .7

Wasim Akram b McGrath. . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Akram Raza c Healy b McDermott. . . . .10

Waqar Younis c Slater b Warne. . . . . . .2

Mushtaq Ahmed not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Asif Mujtaba not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Extras (b2 lb5 nb3 w6). . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Total (for 9, 50 overs). . . . . . . . . . .151

Fall: 1-2 2-77 3-83 4-94 5-124 6-129 7-129 8-147 9-150.

Bowling: McDermott 10-2-21-1; McGrath 10-3-25-2; May 10-0-53-0; Warne 10-1-29-3; S Waugh 10-1-16-3.

Umpires: W A U Wickremasinghe and B C Cooray.

(Photograph omitted)

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