Watson stars as Australia defeat Pakistan

GROS ISLET: Shane Watson top-scored with 81 as Australia punished lax Pakistan fielding to win their opening World Twenty20 match by a convincing 34 run margin here on Sunday.

Man-of-the-match Watson''s innings was the cornerstone of Australia''s 191 all out, made after captain Michael Clarke won the toss.

But the all-rounder was dropped twice and Watson made defending champions Pakistan pay by striking four sixes and seven fours in his blistering 49-ball innings

Together with David Hussey, he put on 98 in under nine overs for the third wicket.

Hussey dropped on 18 at long-off by Salman Butt, a relatively easy chance, went on to make 53 off 29 balls with five sixes and two fours.

Hussey was especially severe on seamer Mohammad Sami, striking him for 28 runs in the 16th over with the batsman striking four sixes, including three in a row.

Pakistan lost Kamran Akmal for nought to the first legitimate ball of their reply when he sliced Dirk Nannes to Steven Smith at short third man.

Salman Butt (15) miscued an attempted hook off fast bowler Shaun Tait and was caught by David Hussey before left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson''s second ball proved too much for Mohammad Hafeez, who pulled straight to deep square leg.

Australia, holding their catches, had reduced Pakistan to 34 for three inside five overs and they never looked like recovering from such a start.

Tait then had the satisfaction of bowling Pakistan captain and hard-hitting batsman Shahid Afridi for 33 before finishing the match by bowling Saeed Ajmal off the last ball.

Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored for Pakistan with 41 but that was never going to be enough by itself.

Afridi had only inherited the Pakistan captaincy after the fall-out from the team''s disastrous recent tour of Australia where they failed to win in three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20.

Earlier, David Hussey holed out off Ajmal and, three balls later, the off-spinner had Watson lbw.

There was an extraordinary end to the Australia innings with a five-wicket maiden during the last over from Mohammad Aamer.

Brad Haddin was caught off the over''s first ball, Mitchell Johnson clean bowled off the second with both Michael Hussey and Steven Smith run out by direct hits from wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal as they tried to run byes.

Tait survived the fifth ball but was bowled off the last for nought.

Left-arm quick Aamer finished with three wickets for 23 runs, with Ajmal taking three for 34.

Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 21 runs in the first Group A match here on Saturday and both Pakistan and Australia will qualify for the second round of if the Aussies beat Bangladesh in Barbados on Wednesday.

Final scoreboard

D. Warner c U Akmal b Sami 26
S. Watson lbw b Ajmal 81
M. Clarke b Hafeez 2
D. Hussey c Alam b Ajmal 53
M. Hussey run out (K Akmal) 17
C. White c Alam b Ajmal 9
B. Haddin c Sami b Aamer 1
M. Johnson b Aamer 0
S. Smith run out (K Akmal) 0
D. Nannes not out 0
S. Tait b Aamer 0

Extras (w1, nb1) 2

Total (all out, 20 overs) 191

Fall of wickets: 1-54 (Warner), 2-64 (Clarke), 3-162 (D Hussey), 4-164 (Clarke), 5-181 (White), 6-191 (Haddin), 7-191 (Johnson), 8-191 (M Hussey), 9-191 (Smith), 10-191 (Tait)

Bowling: Aamer 4-1-23-3; Hafeez 4-0-47-1; Sami 4-0-54-1 (1nb, 1w); Afridi 4-0-33-0; Ajmal 4-0-34-3

K. Akmal c Smith b Nannes 0
S. Butt c D Hussey b Tait 15
M. Hafeez c M Hussey b Johnson 12
U. Akmal c M Hussey b Smith 18
Misbah-ul-Haq c Clarke b Nannes 41
S. Afridi b Tait 33
A. Razzaq c Warner b Nannes 1
F. Alam c Clarke b Johnson 16
M. Aamer c Smith b D Hussey 2
M. Sami not out 5
S. Ajmal b Tait 4

Extras (lb1, w8, nb1) 10
Total (all out, 20 overs) 157
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (K Akmal), 2-28 (Butt), 3-34 (Hafeez), 4-70 (U Akmal), 5-117 (Afridi), 6-120 (Razzaq), 7-132 (Misbah), 8-146 (Aamer), 9-151 (Alam), 10-157 (Ajmal)

Bowling: Nannes 4-0-41-3 (2w); Tait 4-0-20-3 (3w); Johnson 4-0-21-2 (1nb, 1w); Watson 3-0-24-0; D Hussey 2-0-12-1; Clarke 1-0-14-0; Smith 2-0-24-1 (1w)

Toss: Australia
Result: Australia won by 34 runs
Man-of-the-match: Shane Watson (AUS)

Umpires: Asoka de Silva (SRI) and Shavir Tarapore (IND)
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)