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Watch Pakistan VS Australia 1st T20 Match Live Here
Monday, July 5 and Tuesday, July 6, Edgbaston Start time 1700 (1600 GMT)
Pakistan and Australia will spend the next month battling in the neutral territory of England and this Twenty20 at Edgbaston gives the teams their first glimpse at the opposition. Little is riding on the two-game Twenty20 series, given that it comes barely six weeks after the World Twenty20. But a one-sided contest to either team could provide a morale boost ahead of the two Tests later this month. Australia are coming off a lost ODI series, although they won the final two games, while Pakistan failed in the Asia Cup but also finished on a high when they thrashed Bangladesh.
Any team captained by Shahid Afridi and featuring Shoaib Akhtar cannot fail to fascinate. Akhtar might not have been at his fittest during the Asia Cup, but will the sight of Shaun Tait pressing 160kph spark him back towards his high-speed best? And will Afridi, who led Pakistan to the World Twenty20 semi-finals, find a way to end Pakistan's losing streak of 12 matches against Australia across all formats?
The last time the teams met, it was a high-class encounter that brought nearly 400 runs and one of the most memorable finishes in the format's short history, as Michael Hussey drove Australia into the World Twenty20 final. They needed 18 from the last over; Hussey did it with a ball to spare. There's far less to play for this time, but the result is no doubt burned into the memories of the Pakistan players. Here's their right of reply.