Hussey, Maxwell spur Aus to series win

Hussey, Maxwell spur Aus to series win

Michael Hussey and Glenn Maxwell hit fighting half-centuries to help Australia beat Pakistan by three wickets in the third and final one-day international, taking the three-match series 2-1 here on Monday.

Hussey scored 65 for his 39th fifty and Maxwell hit a 38-ball 56 not out to round off a challenging chase of a target of 245 in 47 overs spoiling Pakistan’s chances of clinching a one-day series against Australia for the first time since 2002.

Opener Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 78 in Pakistan’s fighting total of 244 for seven after they were put in to bat.

Hussey added an invaluable 51 for the fifth wicket with Matthew Wade (22) after Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal (3-37) had threatened to wreck the Australian innings as they were struggling at 108 for four.

Australia won the first match by four wickets here last week before Pakistan levelled the series with a seven-wicket win in the second match in Abu Dhabi last Friday. But the 37-year-old Hussey, regarded as one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket, kept his cool during a 72-ball knock. He hit seven fours and a six.

Even when Wade was bowled by Abdur Rehman, Hussey fought hard, adding 67 with Maxwell.

When Hussey was bowled by Junaid Khan, Australia still needed 19 but Maxwell ensured the chase was successful, hitting four fours and three sixes.

Australia got off to a rapid start with David Hussey putting on 44 by the ninth over with David Warner (21), both taking the attack to the Pakistanis from the outset.

David Hussey hit three sixes during his 45-ball knock of 43. But once Ajmal came on the Australian innings faltered as the off-spinner dismissed David Hussey, Michael Clarke (32) and George Bailey in his first five-over spell but Michael Hussey then foiled Ajmal in his second spell.

Earlier, Hafeez’s 97-ball knock -- his first fifty against Australia in eight matches -- helped Pakistan post a challenging total.

Hafeez put on 129 for the opening wicket with Nasir Jamshed (48) and it looked as if Pakistan would post a big total but they were once again derailed by some sustained pace bowling by Mitchell Starc who finished with four for 51.