Australia v Pakistan LIVE: Aussies cruise to nine-wicket win

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Pakistan were thumped by a rampant Australia team in the second match of the T20 tri-series in Harare on Monday.

Fast bowler Billy Stanlake picked up four top order wickets and finished with sensational figures of 4-8 as Pakistan were reduced to 47-5 inside 10 overs and eventually bowled out for 116.

In the chase, Australia raced to the target just one wicket down and inside 11 overs with captain Aaron Finch smashing 68 from 33 deliveries.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s team started the series with a 74-run win over Zimbabwe on Sunday. With the win, Sarfraz Ahmed became the most successful Pakistan T20 captain with 20 triumphs in the format.

Australia are looking to put the disastrous limited over tour of England behind them. On Monday, Australia won the toss and decided to bowl first.

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Cameron Bancroft opens up on life after ball-tampering scandal

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Emotional rollercoaster: Cameron Bancroft

Cameron Bancroft admits he has been on an emotional “rollercoaster” since being handed a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

Bancroft was found guilty of attempting to manipulate the conditions of the ball with yellow sandpaper during the third of four Tests in South Africa in March.

It was an act which led to a widespread condemnation and also saw captain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner receive 12-month suspensions for their respective involvement.

While Bancroft, the most junior member of Australia’s XI in Cape Town, is banned at international and domestic state level, he is preparing to make his comeback in the Northern Territory’s Strike League.

The 25-year-old said in quotes on www.cricket.com.au: “Right now I’m feeling really good. The last couple of months have been a bit of a rollercoaster. You certainly ride the waves of grieving.

“There’s been times where I’ve felt really sad, there’s been times where I’ve felt really angry.

“But overall, I’ve worked really hard on myself, been really busy with a lot of things and right now it’s just another step forward, heading up to Darwin to play some cricket and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The ultimate goal for Bancroft is to once again represent Australia.

He added: “I can’t change what happened in South Africa and that’s something I’m completely accountable for.

“Everything since South Africa I’ve moved towards have been steps closer to one day getting back and playing cricket for Australia again.”

He also revealed he keeps in touch with Smith and Warner.

“I speak to them quite regularly, at least every week,” Bancroft said.

“Whether that’s a phone call or messages, they’re obviously very busy with some things too.

“They’re two really great people and we’ve been looking after each other.

“That’s a value that we really hold closely at the WACA, is this idea of looking after your mates.

“We’ve being going through all of this together and we definitely look out for each other, that’s for sure.”

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Australia T20 captain Aaron Finch insists team won't carry scars from England ODI whitewash

David Clough 26/06/2018
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Australia‘s Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch is confident there will be no hangover from the one-day international series whitewash defeat against England.

The tourists suffered a historic 5-0 loss in the ODI series and now face England in a one-off T20 fixture at Edgbaston.

Finch acknowledges collective confidence was dented by the hammering – but he is encouraged by an influx of players with “no baggage” ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“We had a debrief and … we’ve put a bit of that stuff to bed,” Finch said.

“As a T20 team not a lot needs to be said – we have new faces to bring fresh energy, guys that have no baggage. It’s a great opportunity to get out there and strut our stuff in a format we have had success in.”

Five-time World Cup-winners Australia have hit a 34-year low at number six in the ODI rankings – which are topped by England – but in T20s they are second and the hosts fifth.

Finch added: “In the one-day format the confidence was definitely affected. England put us on the back foot from the word go, and we weren’t able to catch up.

“But we’ve had success in this format, from seventh in the world to second – which is a great achievement – and (we’ve) done it with mixed-and-matched teams. We’re getting more settled … I don’t think there will be anything to worry about in this format.”

Finch is Tim Paine’s ODI vice-captain but may be the medium-term tip to take over, especially if his Twenty20 exploits continue to go well.

He discounts the suggestion that this match, and scheduled tri-series coming up against Zimbabwe and world number one Pakistan, may be an audition for the ODI role.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “If the opportunity came up it would be an honour. But it’s not something I have thought about.

“Tim is the captain right now and did a great job throughout the (ODI) series. It was disappointing we didn’t back up his leadership with our performances – we let ourselves slip.”

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