Pakistan restrict unbeaten Australia to 176

Australian batsman Michael Clarke walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the Group A match in the World Cup Cricket tournament between Australia and Pakistan at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Defending champions Australia were bowled out for 176 in the 47th over.

Colombo: Mar 19, 2011

A devastating bowling and fielding display by Pakistan saw Australia dismissed for just 176 in Colombo on Saturday – their lowest World Cup total since 1992.

Pacemen Umar Gul (3-30) and Abdul Razzaq (2-8) exposed the untested Australian batting after Ricky Ponting won the toss and decided to bat on a seemingly flat pitch, which had traces of grass.

All the other bowlers chipped in with one wicket apiece as only Brad Haddin (42), Michael Clarke (34) and Steve Smith (25) offered resistance in a match where the winner will top Group A.

Pakistan, the last team to beat Australia in a World Cup way back in 1999, pressured Australia from the start and did not relinquish their grip as the defending champions lost their last seven wickets for just 59 runs.

Pakistan, who opened the attack with left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman from one end, forced an early breakthrough when paceman Gul bowled opener Shane Watson with a sharp incoming delivery for nine.

Haddin added 63 for the second wicket with Ricky Ponting (19) before Pakistan struck twice, with Mohammad Hafeez removing the Australian skipper off a miscued cut, caught by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

Umpire Marais Erasmus of South Africa turned down a vociferous appeal before Pakistan successfully overturned the verdict on review to leave Australia 75-2.

Left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz then had Haddin caught behind by Kamran in the 24th over. Haddin hit three boundaries and a six during his 80-ball knock. Pakistan then took four crucial wickets in the space of just 30 runs to reduce the Australians to 147-7.

Cameron White was smartly run out by Misbah-ul-Haq when the batsmen tried to steal a quick single, before Razzaq bowled Clarke. Pakistan removed dangerman Michael Hussey (12), caught off a miscued drive at short mid-wicket off Rehman, who finished with 1-34, and Mitchell Johnson (nought) was the next to go.

Gul removed Jason Krejza and Brett Lee cheaply to wrap the Australian innings for their sixth lowest World Cup total. Pakistan left out Shoaib Akhtar, who on Thursday announced he would retire but brought in Umar Akmal for opener Ahmed Shahzad.