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The Pakistan cricket team has defeated Australia by 7 wickets in the 2nd ODI match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The Pakistani players looked pretty determined and put up a brilliant performance to level the series. Australia was playing with the same team that had defeated Pakistan in the first ODI two days ago. On the other hand, there were two changes in the Pakistani side. Shahid Afridi and Aizaz Cheema were not playing and Junaid Khan and Abdur Rehman were brought into the side.
The Australian captain, Michael Clarke, won the toss and decided to bat first. The Australian team was off to a very poor start and Matthew Wade was clean bowled by Junaid Khan in the second over of the match. Michael Clarke and David Warner stabilized the inning a bit and added 66 runs together for the second wicket. Australia was in a decent position at 74 for 1, but, all of a sudden, Australia lost three quick wickets and the score became 87 for 4. The Australian batsmen again struggled against the classical off spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Michael Hussey scored a half century and put up a 66-run stand with George Bailey for the fifth wicket. Glenn Maxwell again played well and scored 28 runs off 27 balls with two towering sixes. The Australian team scored 248 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs. Saeed Ajmal took 4 wickets for Pakistan.
The Pakistani team looked in complete control while chasing the target. Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez attacked the Australian bowlers right from the first over. Mitchell Starc looked unimpressive this time around and he gave too much room to the batsmen. Daniel Christian broke the opening partnership at the score of 66, but, that didn’t have much impact on the match. Azhar Ali and Jamshed played quite sensibly and put up a 100-run stand for the second wicket.
Jamshed didn’t manage to complete his century, but, he had done his job before getting out. Azhar Ali saw the team home with the captain Misbah-ul-Haq. Nasir Jamshed was declared man of the match for his sublime knock.
Zimbabwe, South Africa as well as Malaysia are being considered among the venues that would host the One Day International series between Pakistan and the Australia Cricket Team at the end of August. The fallen giants of Asian cricket have had to contend with playing their home series in neutral venues with no teams willing to take the risk of coming down to the war torn nation after a terrorist attack on the touring Sri Lankan team bus back in 2009 which killed three people.
The series was confirmed to be held in Sri Lanka but the island nation pulled out at the last moment because of the clash of timings with its own Twenty 20 league, the Sri Lanka Premier League which is also slated to be held at that time. According to a spokesperson for the Pakistan Cricket Board, a decision on the venue will be made in a meeting next week but he did name the three countries in contention for the role of host.
But what has stunned many people is the option of Zimbabwe being a possible choice of venue after the protests which was mainly led by the players of the Australia Cricket Team against the dictatorial regime of Robert Mugabe in the country ahead of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup that was hosted jointly by South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The Australian team has not toured the African country since then and it is highly likely that they will not tour it if it was announced as a venue.
The Australia Cricket Team is slated to play in five One Day Internationals as well as two Twenty 20 Internationals against Pakistan in the tour and it would mean that the tour would be quite long, so Zimbabwe might not be the best option for a venue after all.