Review: Pakistan crush Australia in dress rehearsal
The tri-nation tournament has been a series of resounding victories and harrowing defeats. It was Pakistan who made it even steven with Australia by winning the dead rubber ahead of the finals. Shaheen Afridi got a look in along with Usman Khan.
Australian skipper and man in form Aaron Finch won the toss and sent in Pakistan to bat. The side responded in a solid fashion. While Haris Sohail departed for a golden duck, his opening partner Fakhar Zaman scored a gutsy 73 off 42 balls. Hussain Talat made 30 off 25 balls and Asif Ali contributed with a vital 37 to take the team total to 194/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Tye knows his craft
Andrew Tye was impressive as he mixed his deliveries. His slower ones were hard to read while he beat the batsman with pace too. He finished with three wickets and conceded 35 runs in his four overs. Richardson picked up two wickets but turned out to be quite expensive.
Chasing 195 to win, D’arcy Short grinded it out in the middle, making 28 off 34 balls. But he kept on losing partners at the other end. The Pakistan bowlers executed their plan well and bowled in the right areas. Australia were 76/5 at one stage but managed to get things sorted to a certain extent.
Pakistan packed a punch
Wicket-keeper AT Carey made 37 off 24 balls and remained unbeaten till the end to see his side go down. Afridi bagged three wickets and leaked 37 runs while the rest of the bowlers bagged a wicket each. Finch was clearly disappointed at not being able to pull things back. “We didn’t get going all day, long way off with the ball and on the field, couldn’t then get any partnerships with the bat. This was a 170 wicket, we let them get away, our fielding was sloppy as well. They stuck to basic plans and did well. You’d like to keep winning, couldn’t but have a short turnaround time.” Finch said post the game.
It was indeed an all-around show from the Pakistan team. Australia bowled too many loose balls and clearly looked hapless against an opposition who they had beaten in the initial stage. It also meant Australia failing to grab the no. 1 spot at the ICC T20I rankings. They will be facing Zimbabwe in the next encounter before getting in the all-important finals. Sarfraz Khan’s bowlers bowled 43 dot balls and kept the pressure on the opposition side and that spelled trouble. Finch and his men will look to solve the middle order muddle and come back with a plan for the Pakistan side in the finals.
Pakistan: 194/7 in 20 overs ( Zaman 73; Tye 3/35)
Australia: 149/7 in 20 overs (Carey 37; Afridi 3/37)
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