Finch, Cummins seal series for Australia

Visitors takes an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series

Finch, Cummins seal series for Australia PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Australia defeated Pakistan by 80 runs in the third One-day International (ODI) in Sharjah, to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Right-arm pacer Pat Cummins had Pakistan on the floor, after reducing them to 16-3 in the seventh over of the innings.

Opener Imamul Haq and stand-in captain Shoaib Malik performed the rebuilding job through an important partnership of 59 to keep Pakistan alive in the contest.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell could do no wrong today, as he trapped Imam to an untimely leg-before-wicket (LBW) dismissal for 46.

Malik tried to up the ante but also departed soon after, as he failed to clear the fence and got caught by Peter Handscomb on 32.

Hard-hitting batsman Umar Akmal and all-rounder Imad Wasim's 50-run stand raised some hopes of a fightback. However Akmal’s luck eventually ran out, as he got caught playing a cross-batted shot for 36.

Wasim continued his surge towards the target, but didn’t have enough support from the other end. Hence, he had to perform the bulk of the work and lost his wicket in the process to leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Thereafter, Zampa didn’t waste much time in wrapping-up Pakistan innings, as he finished with 4 wickets.

Earlier, Australia posted 266-6 in their allotted 50 overs, after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

Visitors suffered an early setback, as opener Usman Khawaja fell without troubling the scorers.

Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan made full use of the overcast conditions as he removed Shaun Marsh for 4, leaving Australia reeling at 20-2 in the first six overs of the innings.

However, Handscomb teed off from the start and gave much-needed impetus to the Australia innings.

Handscomb formed an important partnership of 84 with Australia captain Aaron finch, before falling for 47 through a peach of a delivery from the left-arm spinner Haris Sohail.

Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals with Finch holding the other end.

However, Finch's gritty knock of 90 came to an untimely end, as he tried to accelerate in the last ten overs.

Australia hopes of mustering a competitive total rested on Maxwell's shoulders and he didn’t disappoint.

Maxwell played a breezy knock of 71 from 55 balls to ensure Australia finished above a 250-plus score, which had only been chased down four times out of 24 attempts in Abu Dhabi.

Cummins was adjudged player of the match for his spell of 3/24.