Pakistan Cricket team recorded a dominant victory to go 1-0 up as Australia’s top-order and middle-order crumbled in the first of the three-match T20I series.
Meanwhile, Australia entered into the series with the dream to go at the top of the ranking list. To do so, they would have needed to beat Pakistan 3-0. However, they fell at the first hurdle spectacularly.
Pakistan, after put to bat first by Australia’s captain Aaron Finch, opened with Babar Azam (68* off 55 balls) and Fakhar Zaman (14 off 12 balls). While Zaman couldn’t transfer his red-ball form into white-ball runs today, Azam showed why he is such a well-regarded batsman in limited overs cricket. Azam put on a 73-run partnership with the veteran Mohammad Hafeez (39 off 30 balls) to put Pakistan in a strong position towards the end of the fourteenth over.
However, after Hafeez’s dismissal on 105 for 2, Australia staged a brilliant comeback courtesy Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye. The pair shared six wickets as Pakistan at one stage lost five wickets in a chaotic ten-ball period.
Striving at 133 for eight, Hasan Ali’s struck 14 of three balls to guide Pakistan post 155 at the halfway stage.
It was by no means a daunting total, but with Pakistan’s superb, diverse attack it was not going to be a simple chase for Australia. However, they were blown away in a dramatic opening six overs after which they found themselves six wickets down.
Imad Wasim, playing in his first international match in nearly a year caused havoc with his slow left-armers dismissing both openers in the first over and unveiling his new Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired celebration in the process.
Although Nathan Coulter-Nile (34 off 29 balls) and Ashton Agar (19 off 23 balls) saved their team from total embarrassment with a 38-run partnership, they never scored at a rate that would have remotely concerned Pakistan.
In the end, Australia got all out for 89 as the host secured a dominant victory showing cricket fans around the world exactly why this ruthless side are the top team in the world.