SHARJAH: Wicket-keeping batsman Mohammad Rizwan hit a maiden hundred to guide Pakistan to 284-7 in the second one-day international against Australia in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.
The 30-year-old knocked 11 boundaries in his 115 total as Pakistan — who won the toss and batted — once again failed to crack the 300-mark on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch. Rizwan, only playing because regular keeper and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been rested for the series — added 52 for the third wicket with Haris Sohail (34) and an invaluable 127 for the fifth wicket with stand-in captain Shoaib Malik.
Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after winning the first game, played at the same venue, by eight wickets on Friday. Pakistan lost opener Imam-ul-Haq without scoring off the fifth ball of the innings from fast bowler Jhye Richardson. Shan Masood (19) and Sohail — who scored his maiden hundred in the first game on Friday — took the total to 35 when Richardson struck again, getting Masood caught at short mid-wicket. But Richardson took 2-16 in his five overs and fell awkwardly in the outfield and left the field in the 11th over. Initial reports suggests he dislocated his shoulder and is doubtful for the remaining three matches.
Rizwan, though, lifted Pakistan after Umar Akaml fell for 16, caught off spinner Nathan Lyon. Rizwan improved on his previous best of 75 not out, against Zimbabwe at Harare four years ago and completed his hundred with a single off 114 balls. He fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile to a boundary catch.
Nile finished with 2-52. Malik also smashed three boundaries and a six before falling in the 45th over. Pakistan replaced experienced fast bowler Mohammad Amir with rookie Mohammad Hasnain for his first match while Australia remained unchanged.
Earlier, the young Hasnain, aged 18 years and 353 days, was handed his first ODI cap after he was selected for the series on the back of good showing in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League.
The Pakistan team consists of Shoaib Malik (capt), Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Abbas, Yasir Shah, and Mohammad Hasnain.
The Australia side are Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, and Adam Zampa.
The umpires are Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena and Pakistani Shozab Raza. The TV umpire is Englishman Michael Gough. The match referee is Kiwi Jeff Crowe.