Pakistan earn A- in our report card as they sweep Aussies 3-0 in T20I series

Alex Broun 23:17 28/10/2018
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Pakistan celebrate another victory over Australia.

Pakistan maintained their dominance over a hapless Australia with a 33-run victory in the third T20I in Dubai on Sunday night, to complete a 3-0 clean sweep in the series.

The hosts total of 150-5 was set up by a blistering opening stand of 93 by Babar Azam and Sahibzada Farhan, who was in for the rested Fakhar Zaman.

Australia fought back well to restrict them before Alex Carey smashed Imad Wasim for 20 off the first over for what seemed like the tourists would finally have something to celebrate.

But that was as good as it got as a mixture of accurate bowling and poor batting saw the Aussies slump to be all out for 117 off 19.1 overs with Shadab Khan the pick of the hosts bowlers with 3-19 off four overs.

Here’s our report card for the match:

THE GOOD

Pakistan’s opening stand – Babar Azam and Sahibzada Farhan made batting look easy as they smashed the Australian attack all around the ground putting together a 93-run opening stand off just 77 balls. Farhan hit two fours and three sixes in his 38 ball 39 while Azam was even better scoring 50 off just 40 balls, with five fours and one six.

Australian catching – Pakistan’s total could have been a lot more without some great catches in the outfield by the Aussies. Andrew Tye moved well to take two screamers but the best of the lot was Nathan Coulter-Nile’s off Asif Ali. Fielding on the rope at mid-on Coulter-Nile positioned himself perfectly and timed his jump exactly right to pluck the ball out of the air and land inches inside the field of play.

THE BAD

Hasan Ali’s drop catch Pakistan have performed at such a high level during the series, and Australia so poorly, that it’s hard to find fault with the hosts. But Hasan Ali’s dropped catch at deep square leg off Chris Lynn was a rare blemish. The game was evenly poised with Australia 53-2 when Lynn went for a reverse sweep off Wasim. He hit it too well and the ball went at a very catchable height to Ali who dropped it cold. Luckily for Ali, Lynn was out just six balls later with the dropped catch costing just two runs.

Ben McDermott run out – again – The Aussies train very hard on their running between the wickets but it certainly doesn’t seem to be working as Ben McDermott was run out for the third time in three games. This time he hit the ball straight to Babar Azam at cover and took off although his batting partner Glenn Maxwell wasn’t going anywhere, leaving him stranded once more. Nathan Coulter-Nile’s run out was just as bad.

KEY MOMENTS

PAKISTAN:

12.5 OVERS: After a superb opening stand, Farhan on 39 mis-hits a lofted drive down the ground from Nathan Lyon where its well caught by Andrew Tye. The Pakistan openers looks like they have already taken the game out of the hands of Aussies but Farhan will be desperately disappointed not to get his 50.

AUSTRALIA:

1.5 OVERS: With some superb batting from Alex Carey, belting 20 from Imad Wasim’s first over, Australia were off to a brilliant start, which was undone by Finch’s super-soft dismissal off Faheem Ashraf, spooning a simple catch to Mohammad Hafeez at mid-on.

14.3 OVERS: At 94-5 in the 15th over Australia still had an outside shot at victory, but after compiling 21 off 23 balls Mitchell Marsh did what so many Aussie bats have done on this tour, threw his wicket away, gifting a simple catch in the deep to Shoaib Malik off Shadab Khan. With him went Australia’s last chance of victory.

TACTICAL TURNING POINT

Sarfraz Ahmed’s fast bowling change

With Australia getting off to a blistering start taking 20 off Imad Wasim’s first over, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was faced with a big decision. Did he stick with the usually reliable Wasim or make a change in just the third over? Ahmed decided to twist and had immediate results with Mohammad Hafeez picking up the wicket of the dangerous Alex Carey first ball. Master captaincy from the Pakistan skipper.

VERDICT

Pakistan: A-

Superlatives are running out for the T20 kings of world cricket. They have batted and bowled superbly in this series where they were never really troubled by the tourists. Couple of marks off for three dropped catches.

Australia: D

Improved in game two but slipped back in this final match with some brainless batting that handed the match to Pakistan. Despite being gifted a superb start the Aussies threw their wickets away to give up any chance of victory.

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