اردو

Australia outclass Pakistan to clinch T20I series

Home side won the third T20I comprehensively by ten wickets

PHOTO: AFP

Australia outclassed Pakistan by ten wickets in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) on Friday in Perth to clinch the three-match series two-nil.

Chasing a target of 107 runs, Australian openers David Warner and captain Aaron Finch remained unbeaten on 48 and 52 runs, respectively, to power the home side to a comprehensive win.

Defending a modest total, Pakistan’s bowling attack, albeit an inexperienced one, was clueless against the Aussie onslaught. Musa Khan conceded 39 in 3.5 overs while Hasnain gave away 32 runs in his four overs. Amir gave away 25 runs in three overs while Imad Wasim went for 12 runs in his solitary over.   

Earlier, Iftikhar Ahmed offered the only resistence as Australia's dominant bowlers restricted Pakistan to 106 for eight.

The home team won the last game in Canberra by seven wickets, thanks to a brilliant 80 not out from Steve Smith, putting them 1-0 up after the opening clash in Sydney was abandoned due to rain.

With the series on the line in Perth, Australian skipper Aaron Finch sent Pakistan into bat after winning the toss, believing there was enough in the wicket for his bowlers to cause problems.

His instinct proved right with Ahmed's breezy 45 the only innings of note, with Kane Richardson snaring three wickets.

Skipper Babar Azam had been the standout for his team this series, hitting two consecutive 50s. But he fell early on a fast, bouncy pitch at Perth Arena, out lbw to Mitchell Starc for six.

The Australian quick then smashed the stumps of Mohammad Rizwan next ball with a searing inswinger, leaving Pakistan in trouble at 15 for two.

Opener Imamul Haq, brought into the team for the out-of-form Fakhar Zaman, didn't fare much better.

He hit two boundaries in his 14 before mis-hitting a pull shot off Sean Abbott, playing his first international since 2014, for Ben McDermott to take an easy catch.

Haris Sohail again failed, mis-timing a shot out off-spinner Ashton Agar to leave the visitors struggling at 59 for four at the halfway mark.

Debutant Khushdil Shah lasted 11 balls for his eight runs before holing out to Starc off Richardson, with Imad Wasim also falling cheaply.

When the aggressive Ahmed — who also scored a quickfire 62 in Canberra — finally went looking for a boundary off Richardson, it was left to the tailenders to at least ensure their team made it into three figures.

For his economical bowling figures of 2/14 in four overs, Abbott was declared player of the match while Steve Smith bagged the award for player of the series.

Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, winning captain Finch was satisfied with the performance of the team and especially the bowlers.

“Really proud of my boys. The way we've applied ourselves over the last couple of weeks has been really impressive. We're improving as a team, and that's the most important thing,” said Finch. “The way Ashton bowled in these two series was amazing. He was outstanding, alongside Adam Zampa, and they were bowling against quality players of spin. The quicks in the Powerplay were outstanding, too. Starc in general and Abbott today.”

"It's pleasing one of our top three batted really deep throughout the two series, and we can only kick on from here," he added.