An Aussie Nightmare in Abu Dhabi in 1st T20I against Pakistan
The Australian batsmen made a real mess of their run chase and were bowled out for a mere 89 in 16.5 overs, to give Pakistan a somewhat unexpected 66-run victory, in the first of the three t20 matches, in Abu Dhabi.
Player Of The Match: Babar Azam
The present Pakistan T20 squad has both the strength and depth to take on any team in world cricket, more so with the number of bowling options in its ranks. The three-match series kicked off at Abu Dhabi, with its all-rounders, all itching to take on the opposition in the shortest format. Its convincing win tonight, provided evidence of its well documented natural talent and aggression with both bat and ball.
The Australian captain Aaron Finch asked Pakistan to bat first. A new opening partnership of Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam strode in to give their side a confident start. Fakhar was first to go with score on 32 off 4.2 overs. The second wicket stand between Babar and Mohammad Hafeez (39), top scorer in his country’s first ever t20 international, against England at Bristol in 2006, prospered and took the score to 105 in the 14th over and their side well on course to reach the 200 mark. Including Hafeez’s dismissal, Australia had hit back by picking up seven wickets for the addition of just 28 runs. Had it not been for Hasan Ali’s cameo 17 off 8 balls, Pakistan would not have even reached the 150 mark. Babar, carried the bat, and was unbeaten with 68 runs to his name, having faced 55 balls with 5 fours and a six. The two Australian pacemen Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye, did most of the damage, with three wickets apiece.
The Australian reply got off to a shocking start when skipper Finch and his opening partner D’Arcy Short, both were bowled by left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, making his comeback into the team following an injury. By the fourth over another key wicket was taken by Pakistan when Glenn Maxwell had his middle stump disturbed by Faheem Ashraf. It did not stop there as Australia slipped to 22 for 6 in the sixth over and the Abu Dhabi crowd went crazy. Naturally happy at Pakistan’s success but maybe not so pleased at such an abject display of batting. No one in the ground expected the day/night t20 tie to have two batting collapses. By the 9th over, Imad had bowled his four-over quota and returned excellent figures of 3-20. A match-winning effort, whilst defending a total of 156. All five of Pakistan bowlers got into the act to see their side home with great ease.
Pakistan - Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed(c)(wk), Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
Australia - D'Arcy Short, Aaron Finch(c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey(wk), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake
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