Gul sinks Australia in Twenty20

DUBAI: Paceman Umar Gul recorded the second best figures in international Twenty20 cricket to help fire Pakistan to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the one-off match at Dubai Stadium here on Thursday.

The 25-year-old fast bowler took 4-8 in his four-over spell, combining with leg-spinner Shahid Afridi (3-14) to restrict Australia to a modest 108 in 19.5 overs after Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and fielded.

In Pakistan's reply, Kamran Akmal hit a rapid-fire unbeaten 59 while Haq scored 24. They shared an 85-run stand for the third wicket after Pakistan lost openers Ahmed Shahzad (four) and Salman Butt (16).

Akmal's maiden Twenty20 fifty included five boundaries and three towering sixes off 42 balls and enabled Pakistan to reach their target with 3.4 overs to spare.

Earlier, Gul provided Pakistan with a crucial breakthrough, dismissing the dangerous-looking Shane Watson (33) with his first delivery to put the brakes on Australia, who had reached 42 without loss.

Watson had struck three successive boundaries off paceman Sohail Tanvir in the fourth over.

Australia then suffered a severe jolt when four wickets fell for 12 runs in the space of 21 deliveries to leave them in trouble at 73-5.

Afridi trapped James Hopes (six) and Andrew Symonds (nought) leg-before off successive deliveries, before bowling David Hussey (four).

Gul returned for his second spell to dismiss Nathan Hauritz (two), Brett Lee (nought) and Marcus North (20) to improve on his own Pakistan record of 4-13 in a Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka last year.

They were the second best figures ever in a Twenty20 international, behind New Zealand paceman Mark Gillespie's 4-7 against Kenya at Durban in 2007.

Brad Haddin made 24 before becoming one of Shoaib Malik's two victims.

Pakistan were forced to leave out regular captain Younus Khan, who was suffering from a fever.

Australia won the preceding five-match one-day series 3-2 -- a series moved to neutral venues here over security fears in Pakistan.