Australia v Pakistan Live

By Dave Tickner   Last updated: 19th March 2011  

Australia v Pakistan Live

Pakistan win by four wickets Australia's astonishing World Cup unbeaten run comes to an end at 34 matches, and Ricky Ponting tastes defeat as skipper in the global showpiece for the first time at the 28th time of asking. Pakistan full value for the win, they bowled and fielded superbly and - despite a superb new-ball blast from Lee - got home thanks to Shafiq's solidity and Umar Akmal's strokeplay. Pakistan top Group A and will now face England or West Indies in the last eight, while for Australia, a probable heavyweight quarter-final clash with India.

Over 41: Krejza 0-0-0-1-4-4 178-6 - Razzaq swings Krejza over midwicket for four, and Pakistan are one hit away now. And Razzaq provides it from the very next ball, flaying a cover-drive to the ropes.

Over 40: Lee 0-0-1-1-0-0 169-6 - Not even Lee can do anything about this now.

Over 39: Krejza 1-0-0-1-1-2b 167-6 - Just 10 runs needed now as three singles followed by two byes for a pretty mediocre bit of work from Haddin move Pakistan ever closer to victory.

Over 38: Tait 2-0wd-0-0-1-2-0 162-6 - Pakistan crawling towards this total now. Razzaq scampers back for two after clipping off his hip before Tait then starts spraying the ball around. First he bowls a wide, then he bowls what would've been another one had Razzaq not managed to get the cue end on it for a single and then offers more width that sees Akmal open the face and powerdab the ball to third-man for two. Fifteen to win.

Over 37: Krejza 0-0-1-0-0-0 156-6 - Pakistan trying to give Australia hope here with some minor shambling here. Razzaq plays back to Krejza and his hit on the pad by one that spins back sharply. Big appeal, but height has to be against the bowler there.

Over 36: Tait 0-1-0-0-0-0 155-6 - Ponting makes a final throw of the Tait dice tonight. Almost gets a result as well as Akmal gets only a top edge to an attempted pull shot but finds safe ground.

Over 35: Krejza 1-4-1-0-1-0 154-6 - Top shot from Umar, rocking back and cutting Krejza hard behind point for a boundary. Since that early swipe to leg, his aggression has been based on a solid foundation of proper cricket shots. It's been a superb innings.

Over 34: Johnson 0-1-1-1-1-0 147-6 - Johnson almost gets the ball through Razzaq's defences but the batsman manages to squeeze the ball safely to long-leg off a thick inside edge. Pakistan edge four runs closer to victory.

Over 33: Krejza 1-0-2-0-W-1 143-6 WICKET! Afridi provides the exact opposite of a captain's innings, going for a big shot straight away when the run-rate is negligible and the well-set Umar Akmal is doing the big-hitting perfectly well. But Afridi needs the limelight and tries to clear long-on. He doesn't. Umar Akmal gets a single from the final ball of the over as Razzaq is kept waiting to face his first delivery.

Over 32: Johnson 0-0-0-0-1-W 139-5 WICKET! Time for another twist? Fine delivery from Johnson that bounces to take the glove and loop to Watson at slip. Simple catch made slightly more difficult by the distraction of an inexplicably diving Haddin who had no chance of getting anywhere near it.

Over 31: Krejza 0-0-6-0-1-0 138-4 - Krejza into the attack, and there's simply no way Umar will be able to resist this. Not a chance. The only surprise is that it takes a whole three balls before Akmal skips down the track and wallops the ball 91 metres straight back over the bowler's head. That Lee double briefly raised Australian hopes, but Akmal is getting the job done in a hurry now.

Over 30: Johnson 4-0-0-1-0-0 131-4 - Shot! Fearless cricket when it comes off, brainless when it doesn't. File this one under the former category as Akmal strides down the crease at Johnson and heaves him over midwicket for a one-bounce four.

Over 29: Tait 4-0-0-0-0-0 126-4 - Fine shot from Shafiq, taking on the short ball from Tait and hooking it well in front of square. Not perfectly timed, but plenty enough on it to take the ball to the midwicket fence. Could have been four more from the last ball of the over as a wide long-hop is cut hard by Shafiq, but a diving Clarke at backward point makes the save.

Over 28: Johnson 0-0-1-0-0-1 122-4 - Better from Johnson, keeping the line tighter to the right-handers and not giving the room to free the hands.

Over 27: Tait 0-1-0-0-0-1 120-4 - Lee out of the attack, Tait returns. He's going for the yorkers bowled from wide of the crease; doesn't quite get it right, but gets close enough to the target to keep the batsmen honest.

Over 26: Johnson 0-0-2-0wd-4-1-1 118-4 - Ponting gambles on bringing back Johnson. Doesn't work. After a promising start he bowls a big wide outside the off stump after getting clipped away off the pads by Akmal for a couple. Width on offer again, and this time Akmal doesn't let the ball go; he whacks it up and over cover-point for four. Must easier. Target down to 59 for Pakistan.

Over 25: Lee 0-1-0-4-2-1 109-4 - Got to admire it really. Lee offers the slightest hint of width and Akmal thrashes the ball to the cover boundary. The required rate may be below three an over, but Akmal is keen to ease the nerves and get things sorted well ahead of schedule. Could backfire, but six or seven overs of this will do the trick for Pakistan. A clip off the hip brings Akmal two more, and he's then able to keep the strike as Lee boots the ball to fine-leg after the batsman defends straight back down the pitch. Just 68 runs needed for Pakistan now.

Over 24: Krejza 1-0-1-0-0-1 101-4 - Umar Akmal decides an ugly slog-sweep is the order of the day. It's an interesting choice, but it earns him a single as the ball somehow finds its way to deep midwicket all along the ground. As the umpire tries to work out why on earth someone would play that shot, he absent-mindedly forgets to give a wide for a ball that spins six inches down the legside.

Over 23: Lee 1-0-1-W-W-0 98-4 WICKET! Could this be the start of that self-destruction? Appalling batting from Younus who tamely wafts his bat at a Lee long-hop that deserved the full treatment. A healthy edge gives Haddin an easy catch and Australia renewed hope. Lee the man to strike again, albeit with more than a little assistance from the batsman. Misbah is the new batsman. WICKET! And he's gone first ball! Fine delivery from Lee this time and Misbah can only feather it into Haddin's gloves. The keeper was slow to appeal but everyone else knew and the edge was clear. Umar Akmal survives the hat-trick ball, but the game is very much back on.

Over 22: Krejza 0-0-1-2-1-0 96-2 - Still no slip in place. Australia, since that fine new-ball spell from Lee, have simply been waiting to lose or for Pakistan to self-destruct.

Over 21: Watson 0-4-0-0-4-0 92-2 - Pakistan doing this easily now, and Australia paying the price for some bizarre, negative field placings. The slip goes out, which allows Younus to pick up four just by opening the face and gliding the ball wide of Haddin. Four more runs come in glorious style before the over is out thanks to a handsome cover-drive. The Aussie spirit remains willing but they no longer have the tools to defend this sort of total. Only a Pakistan implosion can save Australia from defeat now.

Over 20: Krejza 4-0-0-0-1-0 84-2 - Still no close fielders for Krejza as Younus thumps a straight drive past a half-hearted effort from Johnson at long-on. Eventually, after a second ball pops up to where a short-leg would've been standing, a fielder goes under the lid as Ponting carefully closes the stable door just as the horse jumps a fence into the next field.

Over 19: Watson 4-0-0-0-1-1 79-2 - No slip for the seamer either, which means Shafiq's outside edge flies away to the third-man boundary as Pakistan move within 100 of their target.

Over 18: Krejza 0-0-0-1-0-0 73-2 - Spin for the first time from Australia now, and a good start from Krejza. Generally bowls an aggressive line outside off stump and he's giving the ball every chance to spin as well with some good flight. No slip in place, which is a bit strange. Wickets the order of the day for the Aussies here.

Over 17: Watson 0-0-0-1-0-0 72-2 - Just copy and paste the Over 15 updates. Apart from the Powerplay bit obviously.

Over 16: Tait 0wd-0-0-3-1-4-0 71-2 - Back to bad Tait as he fires a wide down the legside before being driven sweetly through the covers for three by Younus. A low full-toss is hit straight back down the ground for four more by Younus. Only another 106 runs needed for Pakistan now.

Over 15: Watson 0-0-1-0-1-1 62-2 - Tidy enough stuff from Watson since that first over, but he's not posing much threat. Australia need wickets to win this one. Powerplay over; only 17 runs from it but more importantly for Pakistan a big fat zero in the wickets column.

Over 14: Tait 0-0-0-0-0-0 59-2 - After a shambolic spell with the new ball, Tait comes back with a decent maiden over. Good bouncer early doors backed up by a series of stump-threatening missiles.

Over 13: Watson 1-1-0-0-0-0 59-2 - After a leg-stump half-volley is clipped away for only a single by Younus, Watson drags back his line and gets out of the over without serious damage.

Over 12: Johnson 1-1-3-0-1-0 57-2 - A classy, wristy flick behind square-leg brings three runs for Shafiq, who has made an impressive start to his innings here. Scored good runs against Zimbabwe and will be looking to see his side home here.

Over 11: Watson 0-1-4-0-1-0 51-2 - Watson into the attack and clipped away fine on the legside for a bounday by Shafiq as Pakistan's 50 comes up.

Powerplay Bowling Powerplay taken by Australia.

Over 10: Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-0 45-2 - Johnson does this time complete a maiden over as Shafiq watchfully defends.

Over 9: Lee 4-0-4-W-0-0 45-2 - First bad ball from Lee, fired down the legside and helped on its way to the ropes by Akmal. Long delay after that delivery after non-striker Shafiq does himself a mischief turning after the first run is taken. Looked like he got his studs caught in the turf. WICKET! When play resumes, a short, wide ball is smashed for four more by Kamran before he is trapped in front by another fast, straight delivery from Lee. This time Erasmus does, after a long pause, raise the finger and Kamran Akmal's review fails as Hawk-eye shows the ball hitting the top of leg stump. Younus Khan is the new batsman, looking to improve a horrible record against Australia.

Over 8: Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-4 37-1 - Good over from Johnson, but he teams up with fellow misfiring quick Tait to spoil it at the last. Johnson bowls a leg-stump half-volley, Tait dives over it at mid-on, Shafiq collects four.

Over 7: Lee 1lb-0-0-1-1-0 33-1 - Another fine over from Lee. He's up over 90 mph regularly and hasn't bowled a bad ball yet. Now needs some support from the other end.

Over 6: Johnson 1-4-0-0-4-0 30-1 - Expensive Tait out of the attack and replaced by Johnson. Makes little difference as he twice offers too much width and allows Kamran Akmal to flash a couple of boundaries through the covers. Lee's doing a stunning job at one end, but Australia don't have enough runs on the board to leak runs at the other.

Over 5: Lee 0-0-0-0-0-0 21-1 - Huge leg-before shout from Lee as he arrows a a fast delivery into the pads of Akmal, stuck on the crease. Probably sliding down, and there's no review. Hawk-eye confirms it did too much. Another huge shout two balls later, and this one does look closer. Erasmus again shakes his head, and this time the Australians do review. It's hitting leg, says Hawk-eye, but not clearly enough to overturn the original decision. Magnificent over from a fired-up Lee. Australia won't go down without a fight here.

Over 4: Tait 2-0-0-2-0-4 21-1 - Not for the first time in this tournament, Ponting clearly tries to protect that injured finger on his left hand when fielding. This time, it leads to a misfield that costs his side two runs. Tait hasn't found a line or length yet today, and two more legside deliveries are picked off by Shafiq, first for a couple and then for a sweetly-timed boundary.

Over 3: Lee 1-0-0-W-0-1 13-1 WICKET! Lee makes an early breakthrough as Hafeez is surprised by extra bounce. The ball loops up off the shoulder of the bat, and Lee continues his followthrough to take a smart return catch. Asad Shafiq is the new batsman, and he's off the mark with a single to third-man.

Over 2: Tait 0-4-1-1-0-0wd-0 11-0 - Hafeez off the mark in fine style as he clips a leg-stump half-volley to the square-leg fence with minimal fuss. A couple of singles and the obligatory Tait wide make up a decent over for Pakistan in their run chase.

Over 1: Lee 0-0-0-4-0-0 4-0 - Lee instantly swings a ball past Kamran Akmal's optimistic drive as Australia go in search of early wickets to test Pakistan's ticker. A top-edged pull sails over the slips for a streaky four before a complete mix-up between the batsmen leaves Akmal short of his ground when Hussey's throw whistles past the stumps. Excellent first over.

Australia 176 all out A poor batting performance from Australia, tentative at the top of the innings, tied up by spin in the middle and blown away by Umar Gul at the death. Pakistan, on the other hand, hugely impressive with the ball and in the field and now in with a superb chance of ending Australia's long unbeaten record in World Cups and, more importantly, securing an easier last-eight clash against England or West Indies rather than South Africa.

Over 47: Umar Gul 0-0-0-W 176 WICKET! Australia bowled out for their lowest World Cup score since 1992 as Lee slices Umar Gul high to cover where Misbah takes a simple catch.

Over 46: Afridi 0-0-1-0wd-1-W-0 176-9 WICKET! Afridi gets to strike his Freddie pose for the first time today as Smith chops a length ball into his stumps. It's his 17th wicket of the tournament as he continues to head the charts. Shaun Tait is Australia's last man, and he manages to survive the final ball of the over.

Powerplay Australia take what is known as an 'English Powerplay'; defined as a batting Powerplay taken in the last five overs of the innings with eight or more wickets down.

Over 45: Umar Gul 2-0-W-4-0-0 173-8 WICKET! Krejza's plan to hang around until the Powerplay fails as he backs away and gets his wicket rearranged by an Umar Gul yorker. Not the best piece of batting in a sorry Australia performance. Brett Lee is the new batsman and he gets off the mark in streaky but useful style with a genuine edge that flies wide of a diving slip fielder and down to the boundary.

Over 44: Afridi 1-0-1-2-0-0 167-7 - Afridi back into the attack, and he gets away with a couple of long-hops cracked straight at fielders. Just four runs off the over - Pakistan would take that at this stage off a good over, so a real result off a bad one.

Over 43: Umar Gul 1-1-0-1-4-1 163-7 - Umar Gul back to, presumably, bowl the last four overs from this end. Says much for the effectiveness of the spinners that Gul won't bowl his full allocation here. Smith gets the first boundary in 17 overs with a splendidly timed cover drive only about 10 yards wide of the boundary rider yet giving him no chance.

Over 42: Rehman 1-1-0-2-1-1 155-7 - Smith makes a mess of a sweep shot but gets away with a top edge over the keeper's head and into no-man's land before playing a much better shot and scampering hard to get back for a second run. Better over for the Aussies.

Over 41: Razzaq 0-0-0-1-0-0 149-7 - Looks like Australia are gambling on a bumper haul in a last-ditch Powerplay here. At the moment, they're right on the defensive. Australia in the last five overs: 9-2.

Over 40: Rehman 1-0-0-0-0-0 148-7 - Is this the pitch where Australia's lack of decent spinning options will come back to bite them? Pakistan's spin trio have bowled 26 overs for just 81 runs here.

Over 39: Razzaq 2-0-1-W-0-0 147-7 WICKET! Deepening trouble for Australia as Johnson fences at a short ball from Razzaq and nicks to the astonishingly safe hands of Kamran Akmal. Jason Krejza is the new batsman, and immediately forced to dig a yorker off his toes. Australia's incredible 34-game unbeaten World Cup run began after a defeat to Pakistan in 1999, and the same team now look well placed to end it.

Over 38: Rehman 1-1-0-W-0-0 144-6 WICKET! The two-paced nature of the pitch in evidence again as Hussey tries to chip down the ground for a single, but instead pokes the ball tamely to Misbah at midwicket. Hussey has so often been the man to steer Australia to the right total in these sort of games, but not today. The spinners have proved the difficult bowlers to get away on this surface, yet Australia's attack is dominated by the three pacemen. And the first of them, Mitchell Johnson, now has a big job to do with the bat.

Over 37: Razzaq 0-0-1-0-0-1 142-5 - After keeping a bit low in Razzaq's previous over, the ball now bounces sharply at Smith and strikes the splice of the bat. Interesting pitch this, and these last couple of overs suggest that chasing won't be straightforward for Pakistan.

Over 36: Rehman 1-0-1-1-1-0 140-5 - Australia haven't lost a World Cup match this century. Could that proud record be under pressure today? They'll want at least 230 to feel confident of defending, I reckon.

Over 35: Razzaq 0-0-0-W-2-0 136-5 WICKET! Australia slipping into serious trouble here as Clarke tries to pull a ball that keeps a bit, plays over the top of it and loses his off bail. He'd had a warning about low bounce earlier in the over as well, but failed to heed it. Steve Smith is the new batsman and steers his first ball wide of slip for a couple of runs.

Over 34: Rehman 1-1-0-0-1-1 134-4 - Impressive performance this from Pakistan. They've bowled tightly, never letting Australia get away, and have fielded superbly well. Could all go spectacularly wrong at any stage, of course, but that's half the fun of watching Pakistan isn't it?

Over 33: Hafeez 1-0-2-1-0-1 130-4 - Hafeez completes an excellent spell of probing, accurate offspin bowling for a cost of just 26 runs and the big wicket of Ponting. Fine effort, and it's put Australia on the back foot here in Colombo.

Over 32: Afridi 0-1-0-1-1-1 125-4 - Plodding Australia so mired in drearylull that even a friendly full-toss from Afridi yields only a single.

Over 31: Hafeez 0-0-1-1-1-1 121-4 WICKET! The wicket doesn't technically go against Hafeez's name, but he's earned it with the pressure he's put the Aussies under here. Clarke takes another crazy single, and White pays the price as he fails to beat Misbah's throw from square-leg. More unnervingly competent work from Akmal as he takes the ball low and whips off the bails. The good news for Australia is that Mike Hussey is the new batsman. He's a good man for a crisis and, while Australia are not in that sort of strife just yet, they're not going well. After one sighter, Hussey is soon under way with Operation Nurdle.

Over 30: Afridi 1-1-1-0-2-0 117-3 - A well-placed chip over extra-cover brings White a couple. Some over-excited calls of "Catch!" from the close fielders, but Rehman had to cover a good 20 or 30 yards just to cut off the boundary.

Over 29: Hafeez 0-2-0-1-1-1 112-3 - Afridi looks happy to bowl Hafeez out here with his offspinner going so well. Clarke works him into the legside for a two - a genuine rarity - but it's back to singles only for the rest of the over.

Over 28: Afridi 0-2-1-1-1-0 107-3 - Afridi unhappy with his fielders as Clarke is able to scamper back for a second run after bunting the ball down to long-on.

Over 27: Hafeez 0-0-0-1lb-1-0 102-3 - Remarkable spell this from Hafeez. The Aussies just can't find a way to score off him.

Over 26: Wahab Riaz 0wd-4-0-0-1-1-0 100-3 - Wahab, tail well and truly up, starts with a fast but wayward bouncer before finding Clarke's outside edge but watching on in disgust as the ball flashes down to the third-man rope. A couple of scampered singles take Australia into three figures.

Over 25: Hafeez 0-0-1-0-0-0 93-3 - Hafeez continues to tie the Aussies in knots here. Just can't get him away, to the extent that Clarke takes an insane run and would've been out by a foot had Misbah-ul-Haq managed to hit the target with his throw from square-leg.

Over 24: Wahab Riaz 1-0-0-W-2-0 92-3 WICKET! Wahab's wild ride continues as he gets one to bounce and seam away from Haddin, who fences at the ball and nicks through to Kamran. Haddin's used up a lot of deliveries getting himself in, and he's now got himself out to leave Australia in a slightly iffy position with the out-of-form Cameron White the new batsman. He's safely off the mark here with a clip off his pads for two.

Over 23: Hafeez 0-1-0-0-0-1 89-2 - Hafeez through five overs for just 10 runs now.

Over 22: Wahab Riaz 0-1-0-1-0wd-0-1 87-2 - Wahab slings another wide down the legside as he once again gets his wrist position horribly wrong, but overall a much more consistent (and thus less interesting) over from Wahab as Australia get to their unlucky number.

Over 21: Hafeez 0-0-0-1-0-0 83-2 - Hafeez doing a fine job for his skipper here. He does mix things up rather cleverly, even though surely no batsman can still be fooled by the delivery-stride pause any more.

Over 20: Wahab Riaz 1lb-0-0-0-1-4 82-2 - Afridi brings back Wahab with Clarke new to the crease and almost reaps the rewards as a thick inside edge flies just over the bails and down to the boundary for four. Wahab certainly making things interesting.

Over 19: Hafeez 1-1-0-W-0-1 76-2 WICKET! Whisper it, but Kamran Akmal has just taken a rather excellent catch as Ponting gets a big top edge on a cut shot. Umpire Marais Erasmus is as surprised as anyone - so surprised in fact he inexplicably gives the Australia captain not out. The review system swiftly puts that right with just one replay, and there's some pushing and shoving involving Haddin and the Pakistan players while we wait for the decision. Words exchanged between Umar Akmal and Haddin. Don't know what that's about. Michael Clarke strides to the crease with his ridiculous World Cup average in tow and gets off the mark with a thick outside edge to point.

Over 18: Afridi 0-0-0-1-0-1 73-1 - Close! Haddin tries to dab the ball down to third-man but gets only a bottom edge that bounces perilously close to the off stump.

Over 17: Hafeez 0-0-0-0-0-1 71-1 - Hafeez races through an over before anyone notices he's even started it.

Over 16: Afridi 0-0-1-0-1-1 70-1 - Mid-innings drearylull under way as Afridi changes ends. There's a massive old leg-before appeal to try and stir up some interest, but it's on the fanciful side of optimistic.

Over 15: Hafeez 1-0-0-1-1-0 67-1 - Robert Croft fan Mohammad Hafeez into the attack now, and he begins tidily enough with his stop-start offspin.

Over 14: Wahab Riaz 0-1-4-1-0wd-1-4 64-1 - Been a mixed bag from Wahab so far. A really good bouncer has Ponting in terrible trouble and in the end top-edging a panicky pull shot up over the keeper's head for a one-bounce four. But just two balls later he slings a horrible wide down the legside. A half-volley ends the over, and Ponting picks up four runs every bit as glorious as his previous boundary was fortunate.

Over 13: Afridi 1-4-0-0-1-0 52-1 - Haddin brings up Australia's half-century with a solid thump down the ground as Afridi bowls what for him would count as a slower ball.

Over 12: Wahab Riaz 1-1-4-2-0-0 46-1 - Wahab Riaz gives up a boundary in his first over as a combination of wonky line and fine-leg inside the circle makes things easy for Haddin as he helps the ball on its way to the fence. Another leg-stump delivery is clipped away for two more easy runs as Wahab's understandable desire to avoid giving Haddin room outside the off stump proves counter-productive.

Over 11: Afridi 0-1-0-0-0-1 38-1 - Afridi gets away with a rank long-hop to start his bowling spell, Ponting slapping it straight to point, and gets his afternoon off to a nice tidy start after that loosener.

Powerplay Shahid Afridi remembers to take the bowling powerplay today.

Over 10: Rehman 0-0-1-0-0-0 36-1 - Rehman sneaks in another over of unremarkable but miserly left-arm spin. First powerplay goes Pakistan's way.

Over 9: Umar Gul 1lb-0-1-4wd-0-1-4 35-1 - Ropey over from Umar Gul. A wide bouncer sails over Akmal for five wides before another short ball is pulled to the midwicket rope by Haddin.

Over 8: Rehman 1-0-0-0-0wd-0-0 23-1 - Another tidy over from Rehman, slightly spoiled by a wide that clangs out of Kamran Akmal's gloves to show that all is good and right with the world. Whenever I watch Kamran Akmal keep wicket, I always wonder how exactly he ever came to take up wicketkeeping. He possesses precisely none of the required attributes for the job.

Over 7: Umar Gul 0-0-0-1lb-0-0 21-1 Chance! Ponting scrambles away from Umar Gul with a leg-bye but is then almost run out trying to get back on strike next ball. He wants a single as Haddin plays the ball to point, but his partner has no interest. Ponting turns and scampers back, and would just have made it I think even had the throw hit the target.

Over 6: Rehman 6-0-0-0-0-2 20-1 - Lovely shot from Haddin. Rehman offers the tiniest hint of flight for the first time today, and Haddin hits straight back down the ground and just clears the rope at long-on for six.

Over 5: Umar Gul 2-0-W-0-0-0 12-1 WICKET! What knee injury? Umar Gul moves one off the seam just enough to beat a loose drive from Watson and knock back the off stump. Big wicket for Pakistan, dismissing Watson cheaply. Which doesn't happen often. Ricky Ponting is the new batsman and, as is now customary, starts his innings looking most unlike a man with millions of international runs.

Over 4: Rehman 1-0-0-1-0-0 10-0 - Watchful start from the Australia openers, which has generally been the gameplan before they start smacking it about.

Over 3: Umar Gul 0-1-0-0-0-1 8-0 - Umar Gul completes a fine over as if his knee knack never happened. Bizarre; looked like he was going to play no further part, now he seems back to full fitness.

Miracle Don't know what the physio did, but it seems to have worked. Umar Gul is back on his feet and back in action. Get that physio's phone number!

Knee bother Problems here for Pakistan. Umar Gul takes three or four strides of his run-up before pulling up in pain clutching his left knee. He tries again, but again pulls up in pain and the physio is called. Lengthy delay here, and this does not look good. No Shoaib Akhtar in the side today, remember.

Over 2: Rehman 4-0-1lb-0-0-0 6-0 - The least surprising surprise tactic in World Cup cricket as left-arm tweaker Abdur Rehman takes the new ball. Watson effortlessly biffs him through midwicket for four before playing all round a ball that never really spun enough to merit a serious leg-before shout. That doesn't stop bowler and keeper, though, and with skipper Shahid Afridi out at long-on he is convinced to waste a review. Hawk-eye actually has the ball hitting a decent chunk of leg stump, which is an absolute nonsense, but not enough to overturn the on-field not out decision which was absolutely the correct one.

Over 1: Umar Gul 0-0-1-0-0-0 1-0 - Typically tidy start for Umar Gul, who settles straight on a decent line and splice-bothering length. Just a single from the opening over for Shane Watson, whose opening partnership with Brad Haddin has been impressive for Australia in this tournament but faces its toughest test today.

Ready to go Anthems out of the way, the players are out in the middle ready to go. Should be a cracking game this. Rarely dull when Pakistan are in town and, while qualification is all sorted, there's a decent prize on offer for the winners, who will face West Indies or England in the last eight while the losers tackle India or South Africa. Probably - West Indies could still give crazy Group B a mad end tomorrow and beat India I suppose.

Australia SR Watson, BJ Haddin (wk), RT Ponting (capt), MJ Clarke, CL White, MEK Hussey, SPD Smith, MG Johnson, B Lee, JJ Krejza, SW Tait

Pakistan Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (wk), Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (capt), Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz

Toss Hot, humid day in Colombo so no surprise to see a smiling Ricky Ponting choose to bat first after winning the toss. No changes for Australia who seem pretty content with their balance and pace-heavy bowling attack. Pakistan make one change with Umar Akmal replacing Ahmed Shehzad, so Kamran Akmal goes up to the top of the order. No Shoaib Akhtar in the Pakistan line-up either. Surely he'll be back for a career swansong in the knockouts.

Welcome To Australia v Pakistan in Colombo, a game that will sort out the final positions in Group A. This is a shootout for top spot, with the winners in this one sure to take first position and secure a quarter-final against the weakest of the qualifiers from crazy old Group B. Pakistan, in typically Pakistani style, can only finish first or fourth.

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