Australia edge out Pakistan in thrilling Over-50 World Cup final

December 5, 2018 | By

Hosts Australia overcame a stunning last wicket partnership to win the Over-50 World Cup Cricket Tournament by edging out Pakistan by three runs in what turned to be a pulsating final at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney on Wednesday.

It was in the fitness of things that the grand final of the tournament, contested between the only two unbeaten unfits, went to the wire and Pakistan came perilously close to spoiling the party for the home side.

Chasing a target of 166 in 45 overs, Pakistan recovered from 94 for nine to be bowled for 162 in 42.4 overs. Earlier the Aussies had also fought back after a shaky start to post a fighting total of 165.

Pakistan had become the favourites to lift the trophy when the requirement was down to just a few runs with plenty of deliveries in hand. But the final twist came in the 43rd over when John Short trapped Babar Butt leg before wicket and Australia won the match by only three runs. The Pakistan team was not happy at the Umpire’s decision.

The last pair added no less than 68 runs with Babar Butt scoring 46 off 59 balls and Imtiaz Tarar remaining unbeaten on 28 off 54 balls. The bowling honours for Australia were shared between John Short (3-27), William Blair (2-33) and Tony Clark (2-34).

Pakistan also got off to a dreaded start to their innings as three of their premier batsmen, Shahid Anwar, Ghulam Ali and Sajid Ali, perished without making any significant contribution.

Australia was firmly in control of the game when the ninth Pakistani wicket fell at the total of 94. The match came into life as Pakistan’s last wicket pair of Babar Butt and Imtiaz Tarar inched towards the target.

Earlier in the day, it were the fine knocks from the trio of Tony Clark (44 off 77 balls), Joseph Santostefano (33 off 55 balls) and Todd O’Keefe (25 off 38 balls) which repaired the damage for Australia after they had lost their first three batsmen with only 26 runs on the board.

Dastagir Butt jolted Australia by picking up a couple of wickets in his opening spell of five overs while left-arm spinner Jaffer Qureshi was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with the figures of three for 25 off six overs with Sagheer Abbas, Javed Hafeez, Zafar Ali and Imtiaz Tarar being the other successful bowlers.

At the conclusion of the match Australian Captain Peter Solway lifted the World Cup Trophy. Babar Butt of Pakistan was declared man of the match. Peter Solway of Australia Best Batsman, Stephen Foster (England) Best Bowler, Javed Hafeez (Pakistan) Best fielder and Mason Robinson (New Zealand) Best Keeper.

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