DUBAI - Andrew Symonds showed his intrinsic value to Australia with an all-round performance that earned his team a most timely win, bringing things to even keel in this five-match rubber - by a comprehensive margin of six wickets, with five overs to spare. As Aussies conquered cobwebs of self-doubt, much though as it wished, there was no encore for Pakistan. As was being anticipated, Australia made a strong and confident come back, and unless Pakistan tidies up quickly enough as the action moves to Abu Dhabi for the last three games, it may find it increasingly difficult to overcome a depleted but still determined opponent. Pakistan had scraped a win in the opening encounter on the strength of its spin duo's guile and the rapidity of its strike rate. This time round when the option was exercised by Younis Khan, he decided that the weaker link - that is, Pakistan's batting - would bail it out. That strategy did not work, for once batting did not live up to the expectations, the onus was again on the bowlers. But the circumstances were different. The pressure had swung back from the Aussies to the Pakistan attack. And try as it did, the Aussies had come prepared to thwart it. Australia did have a few scary moments, especially when they lost Brad Haddin early and when Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi struck twice in three balls to make it three for 93. But experienced hands in Symonds and Michael Clarke steadied things. The target set them by the Pakistanis was so inadequate, that despite their diminished stature, this alone must have given the Aussies the confidence to make a fist of it. Under the lights, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul bowled with some measure of hostility. Running in from well outside the 30-yard circle and cranking up speeds that were mostly in the range mid-140 kmph, Akhtar particularly was very impressive. But it was Umar Gul who castled an overly confident Brad Haddin and dropped James Hopes off his own bowling next over. Then, as has been their wont over the years, Akhtar and Gul after generally bowling good areas, kept serving some short and wide stuff and Hopes and Shane Watson latched on to them, converting them into boundaries. That got the scoring off to a rapid start, at such a clip that it was faster than the modest asking rate of less than 4.5 and compensated for the slowdown in run rate once Afridi and Ajmal were brought on. There were a couple of other chances early on, Shane Watson escaping a run-out and Hopes given a reprieve by umpire Billy Bowden when he was struck on the pads off Iftikhar Anjum. But to their credit, Hopes and Watson didn't falter, and once they were gone in quick succession, while Younis kept shuffling his bowlers, Symonds maintained the scoring momentum by going for his shots while Clarke dug in at the other end. Afridi struck, clean bowling Symonds with one that kept low, but by then he and Clarke had already added 90 runs for the fourth wicket. And for Pakistan, it fell in the realm of too little too late. One could at best describe Pakistan's batting endeavour in this second encounter as scrappy. As Saeed Ajmal got himself run out in a mix up with Iftikhar Anjum to bring the curtain down on the innings with nearly four overs remaining unconsumed, it was a scene almost as comical as when debutant Ahmed Shehzad was done in by a most woeful effort on Salman Butt's part at the start. Though almost the entire Aussie attack bowled well, and that was why Michael Clarke didn't need to press part-timers into service, it were the Pakistanis who kept gifting them with their wickets, thus denying themselves the momentum that a set pair would surely have provided. If one takes into account that Younis Khan had won the toss and elected to bat first, a total of 207 definitely seems below par. The rationale behind Younis' choosing to bat first, instead of putting the Aussie batting under the sword straightway, is said to be that Pakistani batsmen had found batting under the new-fangled 'ring of fire' system of lighting through the edge of the roof a trifle difficult. Another factor perhaps was that Pakistan's think tank must have felt that our pacers could find a whole lot more purchase in the milder evening session. Despite skipper Younis' faith in his batsmen, Pakistan's upper order failed to fire yet again. Debutant Shehzad's innings was cut short before he could showcase the promise that has made the selectors throw him at the deep end when he is all of 17 and has even less first class games behind him than his years. Though quite visibly edgy, Butt dropped anchor at one end but with Younis too keen to get amongst the runs, and Nathan Bracken and Doug Bollinger bowling excellent opening spells the rate of scoring was pretty slow. The scoring slightly picked up with the introduction of James Hopes as Younis launched himself through excellent fours. Worth 53 runs, the stand that turned out to be the best of the innings was terminated when Younis edged one to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. And with Shoaib Malik putting himself in a tangle going down the wicket to off-spinner Nathan Hauritz and Misbah-ul-Haq shooting himself in the foot yet again by reverse sweeping Hauritz soon after the hundred was posted, Kamran Akmal and Afridi remained Pakistan's best hopes. Akmal seemed to be in great touch, and it reflected in his driving through the covers. In association with Afridi, he had put on 39 for the sixth wicket when he holed out to midwicket. From then on, Pakistan would have found itself in straits far too dire had Ben Laughlin and Callum Ferguson not dropped Afridi (41, 40 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Akhtar (25, 14 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) when at three and nought respectively. The two indulged in some lusty hitting in the late third power play overs to make sure that Pakistan went past 200. SCOREBOARD PAKISTAN: Salman Butt c Symonds b Hauritz 57 Ahmed Shahzad run out 4 Younus Khan c Haddin b Laughlin 28 Shoaib Malik c Haddin b Hauritz 7 Misbah-ul-Haq c Hussey b Hauritz 12 Shahid Afridi c Haddin b Hopes 41 Kamran Akaml c Hussey b Hopes 19 Umar Gul c Hauritz b Symonds 10 Shoaib Akhtar c Clarke b Symonds 25 Rao Iftikhar not out 1 Saeed Ajmal run out 0 EXTRAS: (lb2, nb1) 3 TOTAL: 207 Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Shahzad), 2-58 (Younus), 3-71 (Malik), 4-103 (Haq), 5-122 (Butt), 6-161 (Akmal), 7-176 (Afridi), 8-206 (Gul), 9-206 (Akhtar) BOWLING: Bracken 8.2-1-24-0 Bollinger 10-1-26-0 (1nb) Hopes 7-0-45-2 Hauritz 10-1-41-3 Laughlin 9-0-57-1 Symonds 2-0-12-2 Overs: 46.2 AUSTRALIA: B. Haddin b Gul 8 J. Hopes lbw b Afridi 48 S. Watson c Haq b Ajmal 30 M. Clarke not out 39 A. Symonds b Afridi 58 C. Ferguson not out 10 EXTRAS: (lb4, nb3, w8) 15 TOTAL: (for four wickets) 208 Did not bat: D. Hussey, N. Hauritz, N. Bracken, D. Bollinger Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Haddin), 2-93 (Watson), 3-93 (Hopes), 4-183 (Symonds) BOWLING: Akhtar 7-1-32-0 (2w, 1nb) Gul 10-0-51-1 (1nb) Iftikhar 9-0-32-0 Afridi 10-0-38-2 (1w) Ajmal 7-0-37-1 (5w) Malik 2.1-0-14-0 (1nb) Overs: 45.1 Result: Australia won by six wickets Toss: Pakistan Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL), Asad Rauf (PAK) Tv umpire: Zamir Haider (PAK) Match-referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL).