Pakistan vs Australia, 3rd ODI Preview: Another high-scoring encounter on the cards in decider
The bowling attack which can contain the opposition batters more efficiently will invariably end up on the right side of the line.
LIVE SCORES - Pakistan vs Australia, 3rd ODI
Pakistan's highest ODI run chase
Pakistan registered their highest successful ODI run chase in the second ODI and will enter the decider with a lot of confidence behind them. At the same time, Australia haven't performed too badly either.
After winning the first match quite comfortably, they put up 348 runs on the board in the second match of the series, which needed some chasing and the brilliance of Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq.
Head, McDermott in form
Travis Head looks in sensational touch and was well on his way to another century in the second ODI but was dismissed by Zahid Mahmood. Aaron Finch has now struggled to score big runs for a long time and will need to course correct in order to hold on to his captaincy and his place in the side.
Ben McDermott scored a sensible century for Australia in the second ODI but injured his finger in the field. However, he should be all right for the third ODI.
Marcus Stoinis and Marnus Labuschagne also made valuable contributions for Australia as the team posted 348 runs on the board.
Shaheen Shah Afridi replaces Hasan Ali
Pakistan decided to drop Hasan Ali after a disappointing performance in the series opener and brought in Shaheen Shah Afridi who was rested for the first ODI. The speedster showed his class right away and picked up four wickets from 10 overs while giving away 63 runs. This included the dismissal of Aaron Finch on the very first ball that the Australian captain faced in the match.
Pakistan had got stuck during the first ODI but that was not the case in the second match as Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq got the home side off to a blistering start they stood at 118 in the 19th over without the loss of any wicket and set the platform beautifully
Imam, Babar do the business
Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam then carried on for another 100-run partnership which almost saw Pakistan through. While Imam made a 97-ball 106, Babar was quite aggressive and took only 83 deliveries for his 114, with 11 boundaries and one six.
Mohammad Rizwan and Khushdil Shah then did the needful to ensure that Pakistan chased down the target quite comfortably with one over to spare for Australia.
Adams Zampa was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors but was a bit more expensive than he would have liked. Sean Abbot was not at his best and Australia might decide to give Jason Behrendorff an opportunity in his place in the decider.
Likewise, Usman Qadir for Zahid Mahmood, in the absence of Shadab Khan should be sincerely considered.
Even 350 not safe anymore
A score in the vicinity of 350 might look quite big but with targets of 200 now being chased comfortably in T20 cricket, if the conditions are true and the ball is coming on to the bat, 320-330 is more like a par score in modern day cricket.
Particularly with the arrival of dew in the second innings, the ball does not grip in the surface at all. Rather, it skids on and makes run scoring quite easy.
To add to that, the class of the batters in both teams has ensured that there are a lot of runs for the taking. The bowling attack which is successful in restricting the opposition better will win the decider, and the series.
Predicted Playing XIs
Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shahen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood/Usman Qadir
Australia - Travis Head, Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Sean Abbott/Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Swepson
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