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Iftikhar sets batting record in Australia

Middle-order batsman’s unbeaten 62-run knock included five fours and three sixes

PHOTO: AFP

Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed registered the highest Twenty20 International (T20I) score batting at number six in Australia, during the second match of the three-match series between the hosts and Pakistan on Tuesday in Canberra.

The record was previously held by Australia skipper Aaron Finch who scored an unbeaten 53-run knock from 33 balls, batting at number six against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2011.

Iftikhar’s 34-ball 62 not out, which included five fours and three sixes, helped Pakistan in mustering a competitive total of 150-6.

"Wicket wasn't easy but I always try to be positive as I wanted to play on a ball by ball basis and whenever I could, I attacked and tried to hit boundaries. That improved my strike rate and helped me to make some runs,” said Iftikhar. "I play according to the team's requirements and try to perform whenever I get the chance to do so.”

 

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However, the Men in Green failed to defend the total as top-order batsman Steve Smith’s masterclass helped Australia defeat the visitors by seven wickets to take a one-nil lead in the three-match series.

 The 29-year-old lamented the loss of early wickets which prevented the Men in Green from putting up a big total on the board.

"We didn't score runs at the top, if we scored 180-200 we could have defended it,” he said. "We were 10-15 runs short but our bowling had the ability to defend that, but this happens in cricket. Smith is a world class player, he took the match away from us.”

The series wraps up in Perth on Friday before the sides face each other in two Tests.