DUBAI - Cricket fans are in for a treat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. The second match of the Bank Alfalah presents Cool & Cool Cup Twenty20 series between Pakistan and Australia.

The match has gained huge significance with Pakistan having trounced Australia in the first match on by seven wickets.  A victory in the second match would allow Pakistan to avenge their one-day series defeat to Australia. Going by tradition, if it is a Friday match and Pakistan often emerge victorious. In fact, Pakistan fans always carry the placard: “If it is Friday, it has to be Pakistan.”

Last Friday in Abu Dhabi, the vociferous Pakistan fans cheered their team to a seven-wicket win over Australia. The Dubai fans too are expecting to do the same. Pakistan Twenty20 team captain, Hafeez was delighted with his team’s emphatic win in the first match, but wants his players to display the same form in the second match.

“The Australians will come out hard. We as a team are always ready for that challenge. We are not going to be complacent by winning one game,” Hafeez said. “So I appeal to all my team-mates to go all out there and win every game we play. As a team we would like to play one game at a time and try to win that game,” he added.

Australia Twenty20 captain George Bailey is confident that his team can bounce back. “We have the team to do it and so we will win the coming matches,” he insisted. Though Bailey’s confidence stems from the fact that his team’s batting strength is one of the finest in the game today, Pakistan have spinners who can wreak havoc on them. In fact, Pakistan have proved that spin is a strong weapon in Twenty20 cricket and, if used effectively, it can crack even the strongest of teams.

With both teams not wanting to set a target and preferring to chase, once again the toss will become a crucial factor. Pakistan showed that they are a different team when it comes to Twenty20 cricket. In fact, Pakistan have always done well in this format and Australia are yet to come to terms with it.

Pakistan took a well-deserved rest after their first match win and did not practice on Thursday but the Australians, knowing the importance of this match, were at the stadium for a four-hour training session. If Australia can secure victory, it would also transform the final match on September 10 into a decider as happened in the one-day series.

Australia cricket selectors have recalled allrounder Dan Christian, spinner Brad Hogg and paceman Mitchell Starc for Friday night's crucial second Twenty20 International against Pakistan. The changes follow Australia's heaviest ever loss by the margin of balls remaining after Pakistan overhauled Australia's total of 89 with seven wickets and 31 deliveries in hand.


Pakistan: Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed,  M Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir, Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan.

Australia: David Warner. Shane Watson. George Bailey, M Hussey, D Hussey,  Cameroon White, M Wade, Doherty, Cummins, Starc.