Cricket: Aussies suffer heavy loss

Australia crashed to their second-lowest total of 89 en route to a seven-wicket thrashing at the hands of Pakistan in the opening match of their Twenty20 series.

Pakistan made short work of their target in Dubai, scoring 3-90 from 14.5 overs led by Kamran Akmal's unbeaten 31. Shoaib Malik was nine not out.

It's Australia's heaviest loss by balls to spare - 31 - in T20 history.

Invited to bat first by Pakistan, George Bailey's side narrowly beat Australia's record-low score of 79 against England in Southampton in 2005.

In hot and humid late-night conditions on a pitch appearing to hold no terrors for the batsmen, Australia hit only three boundaries in their 19.3-over innings.

Despite winning the one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan 2-1 earlier this week, spinner Saeed Ajmal had looked almost unplayable and the offspinner was damaging again with 2-13 off four overs.

Fellow spinners Mohammad Hafeez and Raza Hasan, on debut, also claimed two wickets while pacemen Sohail Tanvir (3-13) and Umar Gul (1-17) also cashed in on Australia's over-aggressive strokeplay.

Opener David Warner (22) was the only batsman to reach 20 in a worrying display from the game's ninth-ranked side just two weeks shy of Australia's opening T20 World Cup clash with Ireland in Sri Lanka.

Gul and Shane Watson had both been rested from the ODI series and it was the Pakistan paceman who began in better form, trapping the Australian vice-captain lbw for eight with his fifth delivery after coming on to bowl the third over.

Mike Hussey, fresh from two consecutive ODI half-centuries, was caught at cover for one.

David Hussey (three) and skipper Bailey (14) were both caught on the leg-side boundary and Matthew Wade (six) and Glenn Maxwell (four) followed in the same fashion.

Ajmal dismissed Maxwell and Cameron White (bowled for 15) in successive deliveries but tailender Xavier Doherty was at least able to deny the spin genius a hat-trick.

Pacemen Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus and Watson took one wicket each in Pakistan's innings.

- AAP

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