Australian power show against Pakistan at Perth
Australia inflicted a crushing 10-wicket win over Pakistan, in the first ever T20I to be staged at Optus Stadium, Perth in Western Australia.
Australia won by 10 wickets
Pakistan 106/8 (19.6 Ov)
Australia 109/0 (11.5 Ov)
The result illustrated the huge gulf between the two sides in the given condition. The 0-2 series loss will hurt head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam but one must acknowledge their courage and foresight in giving T20 caps to left-hand batsman Khushdil Shah and paceman, Mohammad Musa Khan, among the four changes from its defeat at Canberra, few days ago.
Australia chose to bowl first and in the third over of the innings claimed key wickets of the two in-form batsmen – Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Firing on all cylinders, Mitchell Starc, accounted for the two in successive deliveries. From that point onwards at no stage did Pakistan look like posting a decent total. The moisture and the bounce in the green wicket at Perth were exploited well by the Australian pacemen, which its captain Aaron Finch had hoped for after winning the toss.
At the powerplay stage Pakistan was limping at 34-3, boosted only by three boundaries by Iftikhar Ahmed off Starc’s over. At the half way stage of its innings in 10 overs, it had limped to 59-4. Iftikhar was the only one to stand up against Australian bowling and his exit, for a lively 45 off 37 balls, in the 17th over, put the brakes on again. Only two runs came in the last two overs as Pakistan finished with a poor 106-8 off its 20 overs. Not for the first time on the tour, the visitors’ batting line-up, had failed to come to terms with the Australian condition.
In reply to Pakistan’s below par total, Finch and David Warner, wasted no time in announcing their intention of taking on the bowling attack that featured two teenagers, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa. It seemed there was absolutely nothing Pakistan bowlers could do, though the wicket offered pace and bounce. Not unusual for bowlers from the sub-continent to struggle but hopefully with bowling coach Waqar Younis by their side, the young pacemen will learn from the experience of a heavy defeat.
At the end of powerplay Australian openers had galloped to 58-0 in 6 overs and Pakistani heads went down for their only hope to stay in the game was to claim wickets. The pair were not separated till the winning run was scored in 11.5 overs. Warner’s unbeaten 48 came off 35 balls and included 4 fours and 2 sixes whereas Finch managed to reach the fifty mark and was unbeaten on 52 off 36 balls and clearly more belligerent of the two having smashed 4 fours and 3 sixes in his knock. Paceman, Sean Abbott, claimed 2-14 off his 4 overs, to claim the Player of the Match award.