Clarke amazed to see overwhelming Pak support at ‘neutral’ Edgbaston

Updated: Jul 06, 2010, 12:55 PM IST

Birmingham: Australia T20 skipper Michael Clarke was shell shocked by the overwhelming support for Pakistan during the first T20 international, which the Kangaroos lost by 23 runs, at Edgbaston here.

Clarke said he was amazed to see the support that Pakistan received at this ‘neutral’ ground, adding that the atmosphere was pretty much similar to what it would have been in Pakistan with fans blowing horns, chanting slogans and waving flags.

“It was full of Pakistan supporters. I think it’s great for Pakistan cricket, I think it’s really encouraging we are still getting the chance to play against them and the support Pakistan received has been fantastic. Hopefully, a few more Aussies will turn out on Tuesday (today),” The News quoted Clarke, as saying.

Australia were to play the T20 and two Test match series against Pakistan in Pakistan, but the tour was shifted to England after Cricket Australia (CA) refused to send the team due to precarious security conditions.

The huge number of Pakistani fans got their money worth with their team defeating the Australians in the first T20 game.

This was Pakistan’s first win against Australia in 13 matches in all formats.

Batting first, Pakistan put up a challenging score of 167 for eight in their allotted 20 overs, thanks to a spectacular 31 ball 64 run innings from 20 year old middle order batsman Umar Akmal.

Umar’s blitz included seven fours and three sixes.

Replying to Pakistan’s competitive total, Australia failed to repeat its World T20 semi-final success against the same squad and was bowled out for 144.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took three wickets for 26 runs and was ably supported by 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Aamer, who finished with three for 27.

Shoaib Akhtar proved to be the costliest bowler for the green shirts giving away 34 runs in the just the two overs he bowled.