sport

Hafeez: Aggression paid off

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez was delighted that his side's aggressive approach paid off in their 16-run win over Australia at the ICC World Twenty20.

Umar Akmal smashed a superb 94 from 54 balls as Pakistan set a demanding total of 191-5 after being asked to bat first at Mirpur.

Aaron Finch led the Australia reply with 65, and Glenn Maxwell then cracked an explosive 74 from only 33 balls to keep his side in the hunt.

But after Maxwell was caught in the deep sweeping Shahid Afridi, the run chase stalled as Australia limped to 175.

Hafeez was happy with his team's response to their opening defeat to arch-rivals India, and he insisted the change in tactics proved vital to the outcome.

"I think were were a bit defensive against India, but today the boys went out and expressed themselves," said Hafeez. "Umar Akmal showed his real talent today.

"We wanted him to attack and that's what he did. It is really nice to have a win under our belts. It will give us the confidence for the matches to come."

Akmal added: "I was given a free hand to go and play my strokes. I'd like to play more such innings at number four.

"It was the best knock of my career simply because we were under tremendous stress having lost our first match.

"It was very important to win this match. Team management backed me to go out and express myself with the bat and I played my natural game."

Australia skipper George Bailey rued a number of dropped catches that allowed Pakistan to build such an imposing score.

"Batting and bowling can go either way, but fielding was in our hands," he said. "We've set high standards and we didn't do well today.

"Pakistan bowled really well and did not allow us to build the momentum that Maxwell and Finch created.

"It was two outstanding innings from Max and Finchy, that's really good for us but from there you'd love to finish it off.

"It was an outstanding fightback to get ourselves back into the game after losing our two most destructive batters in the first over.

"For them to rebuild and get the momentum back and maybe to get the game to the stage where we should have won was outstanding."