Smith stars as Australia down Pakistan by seven wickets

Former Australia captain remained unbeaten on 80 runs

Smith stars as Australia down Pakistan by seven wickets PHOTO: AFP

Australia defeated Pakistan by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) in Canberra to take a one-nil lead in the three-match series. The first T20I in Sydney was washed out due to rain.

Steve Smith starred with the bat to help Australia chase down 151-run target with relative ease.

Fast-bowler Mohammad Amir dismissed a dangerous looking David Warner, after the latter had scored 20 runs off 11 balls with the help of four boundaries. Pacer Mohammad Irfan got the better of Australia captain Finch, after scoring 17 runs off 14 balls.

After the early setbacks, Steve Smith and Ben McDermott stitched a crucial 58-run partnership for the third wicket to keep Australia’s run-chase on track. All-rounder Imad Wasim dismissed McDermott, 21 off 22 balls, to give Pakistan some sort of hope.

But Smith looked in impervious form, who remained unbeaten on 80 runs off 51 balls, to ease Australia to victory in 18.3 overs.

Earlier skipper Babar Azam hit his second consecutive half-century and Iftikhar Ahmed clubbed a quickfire 62 as Pakistan made 150 for six in their allotted 20 overs.

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Once again, the world's top T20 batsman anchored the innings, smacking six fours in his 38-ball knock as teammates fell around him until he found support from Ahmed, who notched a maiden, and entertaining, half-century.

Both sides are looking to go 1-0 up in the three-game series after the opening match in Sydney on Sunday was abandoned due to rain with Australia on course for victory.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Azam went on the attack immediately, making the most of a fast outfield to stroke a series of top-notch boundaries off Kane Richardson and Mitchell Starc.

Fellow opener Fakhar Zaman, desperately in need of a decent score after being out for a golden duck in the first game on Sunday, was little more than a spectator.

And when he faced Pat Cummins, he was out for two, driving to Warner at mid-off to continue his string of poor scores.

Haris Sohail came to the crease but only lasted nine balls, out for six, top-edging to Kane Richardson who took the catch off his own bowling.

It took the wind out of Pakistan's sails and the runs dried up before Azam and Mohammad Rizwan began to push the scoreboard along.

But Azam was again forced to watch as another partner fell, with Rizwan stumped off Ashton Agar's bowling for 14.

It left Pakistan at 62 for three at the halfway mark and Agar quickly struck again as Asif Ali slogged a sweep shot straight to Cummins.

Azam finally found some support from Ahmed before the captain was run out for 50 — his 12th in the short format — after some fantastic fielding by Warner, whose throw from deep midwicket smashed into the stumps.

Ahmed ensured it was a competitive score, smashing 22 off the penultimate over from Richardson.

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