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Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 23 (IANS) Pakistan, riding on a blistering 54-ball 94 from Umar Akmal, notched up a challenging 191 for five in 20 overs against Australia in their must-win ICC World Twenty20 Group 2 match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here Sunday.
Put in, Pakistan lost opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad (5) and skipper Mohammad Hafeez (13) inside five overs for only 25 runs.
But the Akmal brothers – Umar and Kamran (31) – joined forces with their 96-run stand for the third wicket in barely 51 balls to take Pakistan to a commanding position.
It was a measured knock from Kamran as he struck four fours in his run-a-ball knock. But Umar was more aggressive than his elder brother and made his intentions clear right from the start.
The two brothers took the attack to the Australians with their audacious stroke play. Kamran perished in his attempt to smack Nathan Coulter-Nile out of the ground and David Warner took a good running catch on the boundary.
Shoaib Maqsood, who followed in next, took 13 balls for five runs before being castled by Coulter-Nile paving the way for Shahid Afridi's entry amidst a huge cheer.
Umar and Afridi entertained the crowd with their power-hitting to all parts of the ground and added 33 runs for the fifth wicket in just 20 balls. Afridi smashed the fourth ball he faced for a six over mid-wicket.
On the other end, Umar kept the runs flowing and in all he struck nine fours and four sixes in his 54-ball knock. Umar almost got his century but failed to connect well a full toss from Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell took an easy catch at long on.
Afridi remained unbeaten on an 11-ball 20 hitting a six and two fours while Shoaib Malik was not out on three.