Pakistan hold off Australia
Pakistan survived a Glenn Maxwell onslaught to defeat Australia by 16 runs and rekindle their Group 2 campaign at the ICC World Twenty20.
Having been comprehensively beaten by India in their opening match of the tournament, Pakistan turned in a much improved batting display to post 191-5.
Umar Akmal led the way with 94 from 54 deliveries, though it seemed his efforts would be overshadowed when Maxwell produced am even more brutal display of hitting in Australia's run-chase.
The all-rounder blasted six sixes and seven fours to make 74 in a hurry, and along with Aaron Finch (65) he seemed to have his side firmly on track.
Maxwell's dismissal, though, changed the momentum of the match again. Once he departed to just the 33rd ball he had faced, leaving the score at 126-3, the innings fell away rapidly. The Aussies were eventually bowled out for 175.
Shahid Afridi claimed the crucial scalp, getting Maxwell caught on the mid-wicket boundary having earlier been one of the bowlers to suffer at the hands of the big-hitting Victorian.
Bilawal Bhatti came in for some particularly harsh punishment, the seamer conceding 30 runs in a disastrous opening over that included five extras for a head-high no ball that Maxwell did well to avoid.
Saeed Ajmal (1-33) was not even spared, his first 12 balls going for 25. However, the spinner came up trumps when his side needed him the most, his fourth and final over conceding just one run and also seeing him bowl Finch.
The opener had played second fiddle in a third-wicket stand worth 118 with Maxwell, who had arrived at the crease in the first over after left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (2-26) had removed both David Warner and Shane Watson.
Still, apart from the two half-centuries no other Australian managed to reach double figures, meaning their bid to claim the one limited-overs trophy they have yet to lift would open up with a disappointing defeat.
Pakistan were in the same situation going into Sunday's match but have now put themselves right back in the running for a place in the semi-finals.
They had to recover from 25-2 in their innings, Ahmed Shehzad (five) and Mohammad Hafeez (13) both perishing in the powerplay overs.
However Umar Akmal combined with older brother Kamran, who made a run-a-ball 31 before holing out off the bowling of Nathan Coulter-Nile, in a third-wicket partnership of 96 that included taking 18 off an over of spin from Finch.
Umar was also caught in the deep off the first delivery of the 20th over to miss out on the chance for a century, but his superb knock - along with a breezy unbeaten 20 from Afridi - made sure Pakistan had enough on the board for their bowlers to defend.