Wednesday July 06, 2022

Pumped-up Pakistan seek to improve bowling

April 02, 2022

LAHORE: Rejuvenated Pakistan will seek to carry the momentum from their win in the second ODI to clinch the series when they take on Australia in the third and final game here at the Gaddafi stadium on Saturday (today).

Pakistan after a bashing from Australia in the opening match bounced back strongly and levelled the series with a record run-chase.

The second match was a high-scoring affair and the hosts managed to hold their nerves to finish on the winning note. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bowl first. But the home team saw Travis Head, who hit a century in the first match, continue in the same style, as he scored 89 at the top of the order. Ben McDermott, who hit a half century in the first match, improved his game further and scored his maiden ODI century to help his side post a mammoth 348 on the board.

Shaheen Afridi, who returned for the second game of the series, picked up four wickets. It was an uphill task for Pakistan but opener Imam-ul-Haq and Babar hammered brilliant centuries and then Khushdil Shah’s cameo helped Pakistan reach the target with an over to spare.

Both sides will come out all guns blazing in the final ODI and it promises to be a cracker of a contest.

Australia must be in a fix as to what had happened in the second match that slipped away from their hands.

Pakistan has seen their batters perform and all they now need is their bowlers to create an impact to dictate terms.

Australia with their performance in the first two matches remain the favourite.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (C), Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Khushdil Shah, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Mohd Wasim Jr, Haider Ali, Saud Sakeel, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Shhnawaz Dahani, Iftikhar Ahmed, Usman Qadir.

Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar, Ben McDermott, Jason Behrendorff, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Mithcell Swepson, Ben Dwarshuis, Marnus Labuschangne, Nathan Elis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Englis (WK).