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Symonds timely return to form helps Australia defeat Pakistan

Sydney, Apr 25 (ANI): Troubled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has found form he and his country badly needed to set up six-wicket win over Pakistan in Dubai.

Symonds scored 58 of 62 balls to help Australia reach 4-208 in 45.1 overs, chasing Pakistan’s total of 207 all out.

Symonds also took two wickets in as many balls at the end of Pakistan’s innings to curtail a barrage of late hitting which threatened to set up a much bigger run-chase.

FOX Sports reported that Symonds’ batting performance was timely on several fronts.

Australia had entered the match trailing 1-0 in the five-game series after having their batting ripped apart by Pakistani spinners in Wednesday’s series opener, with Symonds out for two in that match.

A similar scenario was in danger of unfolding when he came to the crease on Friday night.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal had claimed Australia’s Shane Watson (30 off 52 balls) and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi dismissed James Hopes (48 from 64) in the space of three balls to reduce Australia from 1-91 to 3-93 in the 22nd over. On Wednesday night, that same pair had reduced Australia from 1-95 to 9-122.

But Symonds mixed watchfulness and clever placement with some occasional big hits to blunt the spinners and dominate a 90-run fourth-wicket stand with captain Michael Clarke (39 not out from 72 balls).

“It was a very important game, we had a really good chat after the (first) game and then the batters got together yesterday after our training just to talk about a few things and come up with a few ideas,” Clarke said.

Symonds’ performance was just as crucial to his own career prospects, which have flagged since he was banished from the national team in Darwin last August, when he went fishing instead of attending a team meeting.

He returned to the side last November, but his international career was further interrupted for knee surgery in December and then when he was stood down after using crude language to describe New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum during a radio interview in January. (ANI)

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