Pakistan fail to avoid whitewash in thrilling final ODI

PERTH: Pakistan could not avoid the whitewash after making a great fight back as Australia won the thrilling contest by two wickets with four balls remaining in the fifth and the final One-day International here at the WACA ground on Sunday.

Needing only three runs in the final over with two wickets in hand, Australia lost Nathan Hauritz on the first ball by Rao Iftikhar Anjum for 18.

Then Ryan Harris playing next ball was caught in the covers by Shahid Afridi but umpire Asoka de Silva called no-ball and thus Australia won the thriller and also completed the clean sweep in the one-dayers after making it in the three-Test series.

This was the second-ever five-match whitewash for Pakistan in 22 years. Earlier, they tasted it in1987-88 from the West Indies.

Chasing 213 runs to win, Australia were looking in pressure as wicket were falling at regular intervals.

However, Ricky Ponting played a responsible innings of 55 and later Michael Hussey steered his team to a thrilling win with an unbeaten 40.

Spinners Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik, and seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claimed two wickets each.

Earlier, Shahid Afridi, captaining in place of injured Mohammad Yousuf, won the toss and elected to bat first but Pakistan made a disastrous start losing three early wickets for just 16 runs.

They lost both openers, Salman Butt and Khalid Lateef, before opening the account and then one-down batsman Younis Khan for three runs.

However, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam rescued them from a total collapse and helped them in reaching a competitive total of 212 runs in 48.3 overs.

First, Malik (36) and Akmal (67) added 60 runs for the fourth wicket stand and then Akmal and Fawad made 82 for the fifth wicket partnership before the new skipper threw away his wicket in his usual manner.

Then, wickets were falling with regular intervals as Fawad held the other end. He was finally out as the last player after scoring 63 from 70 balls.

For Australia, seamers Clint McKay captured four wickets for 35, Ryan Harris three for 44 and Mitchell Johnson two for 42.