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Finch unhappy with ICC rules after rain abandons first T20I

Australia captain was frustrated with the way things panned out for his side

PHOTO: AFP

The first of three Twenty20s between Australia and Pakistan on Sunday in Sydney was abandoned due to rain, with no result declared.

The home team were set 119 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after Pakistan scored 107 for five off a reduced 15 overs, sandwiched between a rain break.

Captain Aaron Finch smashed 37 off the opening 3.1 overs in the run chase, with Australia heading for victory before the rain returned and the game was called off.

Australia were 41 without loss at the time, with David Warner alongside Finch on two.

Speaking after the match, Finch was frustrated with the way things panned out for his side despite dominating the match for a considerable period of time.

"It's frustrating. The 20 minute break in between innings was an interesting one. When you lose a few overs and then you still have a 20 minute break I thought that was really interesting. It probably played out of our hands at that moment. But you can't do too much about the weather,” said Finch after the match. “If you're cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20 minute break it doesn't make much sense to me. But it's part of the rules and you can't do much about it.”

“We played really well. To restrict them to 107 off 15 overs was a great effort and then to be on track to get them was nice. When you're old and fat you get a bit of luck sometimes. It was nice to get a few out of the middle. Like I said, a bit unfortunate the rain played such a part," he added.

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The world's top-ranked Twenty20 batsman, Babar Azam, led from the front, stroking a classy unbeaten 59 after they were sent into bat, with the 25-year-old smacking five fours and two sixes in his 38-ball knock.

It was a decent recovery by the visitors after opener Fakhar Zaman was out first ball, hitting a swinging Mitchell Starc delivery straight to Steve Smith at backward point.

That brought Haris Sohail to the crease, but he made a poor decision in going after Kane Richardson too early, top-edging to Smith to leave the visitors struggling at 10 for two.

But Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steadied the ship and began building a solid partnership, pushing the scoreboard along with clever running and quality shots.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Rizwan said that his side would have been in a better position if they had played the entire quota of overs.

“With the start they [Australia] got while chasing the target, it seemed as if the game was going away from us but you have to realise that our batting was also hampered due to the rain interruption,” said Rizwan. “We made a good comeback after losing quick wickets initially and were on track to score around 160-170, which would have been difficult to chase on this pitch.”

Pakistan reached the 10-over mark at 64 for two but Rizwan soon fell for an entertaining 31 after trying to clear the boundary rope off spinner Ashton Agar, only for Pat Cummins take an easy catch.

When they resumed at 88 for three in the 13th over after a rain break, Asif Ali fell to Richardson for 11 and Imad Wasim to Starc for a duck, leaving Azam to bring up his 11th T20 half-century.

The wicketkeeper-batsman also heaped praise on Azam and the impact the later had on the entire side.

“Babar Azam is a really good player and we learn a lot by playing around him,” he said. “He is one of the major reasons why we are ranked the number one T20 side of the world.”

The series moves to Canberra on Tuesday and a final game in Perth.