Pakistan kick-started their World Twenty20 campaign with an impressive 16-run victory over Australia in Dhaka.
Umar Akmal’s 94 off 54 balls provided the foundation as Pakistan posted 191 for five and then reduced Australia to eight for two in the first over of their reply.
But Glenn Maxwell hit a stunning 74 from 33 deliveries in a partnership of 118 with Aaron Finch before a clatter of late wickets saw George Bailey’s men dismissed for 175.
The win meant Pakistan bounced back from their seven-wicket loss to India on Friday while Australia began their Group Two campaign with a defeat.
Australia won the toss and decided to bowl and that looked a smart decision as Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez fell cheaply.
That brought Akmal to the crease and, together with brother Kamran, he helped put on 96 for the third wicket.
Kamran eventually fell for 31 off as many balls, with David Warner taking a catch on the boundary off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Shahid Afridi contributed a typically breezy 20 and, although Umar Akmal was caught by Maxwell off Mitchell Stark when trying to bring up a century from the final ball, Pakistan posted an imposing total.
Zulfiqar Babar bowled Warner second ball after being hit for four and Watson departed on the same score.
But Maxwell and Finch were soon into their stride and the eighth over of the innings from Bilawal Bhatti – featuring five no balls for a beamer – cost an astonishing 30 as the former brought up his half-century.
Both men were dropped during their century stand but Shehzad held on in the deep as Maxwell slog-swept Afridi.
Australia still looked on course for victory needing 46 off the last five overs but some sensational death bowling from Pakistan snatched it away.
Afridi made a mess of Bailey’s stumps before Ajmal took a very smart catch at deep point off Gul to remove Brad Hodge.
Finch was next to go for 65 as an Ajmal yorker removed his off stump and when Gul bowled Coulter-Nile for a duck, Australia needed 23 off the last over.
Bhatti regained his composure to account for veteran duo Brad Haddin and Brad Hogg after Starc was run out.
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