It was the first ODI between Pakistan and Australia at Sharjah. It was expected to be a high scoring match and the match did happen according to that. Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. It was going to be a good contest. Pakistan’s bowling were relatively weaker due to the absence of Saeed Ajmal. But there were good pacers who could have troubled the Australian batsmen.
It was Aaron Finch and David Warner who opened the innings for Australia. They aimed at providing Australia a much needed good start to the series. Mohammad Irfan started off the proceedings for Pakistan. And right in the very first ball of the match, Finch was caught by Ahmed Shehzad in the slip cordon. And thus Pakistan had the upper hand in the match early on. Steve Smith came in next. Then Warner and Smith steadied the Australian innings to a considerable extent. They went on to build a solid partnership for the team and that too at a good scoring rate. Finally, in the 19th over of the innings Warner was dismissed by Shahid Afridi. He was dismissed at 43 runs. Then came in George Bailey. He started building a partnership with Smith but not for long. He was deceived by the flight of Fawad Alam and was dismissed in the 26th over of the innings. Then there was a small partnership between Maxwell and Smith. Maxwell did not look comfortable at the crease and gave chances which were dropped. But eventually he was caught in the hands of Mohammad Irfan. He scored 21. But Smith carried on with his good work and scored a blistering century. He scored 101 runs off 118 balls which included 6 fours and 2 sixes. Finally, Australia managed to reach a total of 255 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Afridi was the pick of the bowlers. He bagged 3 wickets in his 10 overs by conceding 46 runs.
It was time for Pakistan’s reply. Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed opened the innings for Pakistan and it was speedster Mitchell Johnson who started off proceedings for Australia. It was not the kind of the start which Pakistan expected. Johnson struck for Australia in the 3rd over of the innings and Shehzad was thus dismissed at a score of runs. Then there was a small partnership built between Asad Shafique and Sarfraz Ahmed. But it did not last long. Sarfraz Ahmed was dismissed by Lyon. Wickets kept falling at frequent intervals and Misbah was dismissed for a duck. In fact Lyon was on a hat-trick but missed it. It was a pure display of batting collapse from Pakistan and none of the batsmen did manage to stay at the crease for long. Umar Akmal stayed at the crease but wickets kept falling from the other end. Umar was finally dismissed in the 35th over of the innings and he was the 9th batsman to be dismissed in the innings. The middle order of the Pakistan line up crumbled badly and for yet another time, Shahid Afridi was dismissed on a single figure score. Finally, Pakistan managed to score 162 runs when they were bundled.
Thus, Australia lead the series 1-0. Pakistan has bounce back strongly in the next game and they have to improve on their batting department.