Aaron Finch shows all-round brilliance as Australia coast past insipid Pakistan in second ODI

Waseem Ahmed 23:02 24/03/2019
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Back-to-back ODI tons for Aaron Finch.

An all-round show from skipper Aaron Finch was at the forefront of Australia’s eight-wicket demolition of Pakistan in the second ODI at Sharjah on Sunday.

Finch followed up his excellent showing with the ball with his second consecutive ODI ton as the Aussies chased down Pakistan’s total of 284-7 with 13 balls to spare. The right-hander remained unbeaten until the very end while registering his highest ODI score of 153.

Looking back to his best once again, Finch forged a mammoth 209-run stand for the first wicket alongside Usman Khawaja as Pakistan’s bowling unit was made to look insipid once again in Sharjah.

The only time the Aussie skipper looked in discomfort during his innings was when facing up to Pakistan debutant Mohammad Hasnain. The teenage pacer was the sole bright spot for Pakistan in what was an otherwise tame bowling display.

Hasnain had Finch in trouble on a couple of occasions with his pacey bouncers with the Australian opener even copping a blow to his helmet.

But that was as good as it got for Pakistan with the ball as Australia notched up their fifth ODI win on the bounce to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

A maiden ODI ton for Mohammad Rizwan.

A maiden ODI ton for Mohammad Rizwan.

Earlier, Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik won the toss and elected to bat first but his side got off to a poor start with openers Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood falling early to Jhye Richardson.

Unfortunately for Australia, Richardson then dislocated his shoulder while fielding in the deep and had to be taken off the field for the remainder of the game.

To make up for Richardson’s loss, Aaron Finch had to introduce himself into the bowling attack and the Aussie skipper did a fine job with his 10 overs, leaking only 41 runs while also fetching the wicket of a well-set Haris Sohail.

Umar Akmal failed to create an impact with the bat for Pakistan but the move to promote Mohammad Rizwan to number four in the batting order paid off with the wicketkeeper batsman registering his maiden ODI ton.

Rizwan struck 11 boundaries in his 126-ball stay at the crease and forged an important 127-run stand for the fifth wicket along with skipper Malik who brought up his 43rd ODI fifty.

Australia’s pacers bounced back strongly in the death overs with a flurry of quick wickets to restrict Pakistan below 300 for the second time in succession. It took a 19-run cameo in the end from Imad Wasim to ensure Pakistan breached the 280-run mark in their innings.

BRIEF SCORES

Pakistan: 284-7

Mohammad Rizwan: 115 (126)

Jhye Richardson: 2-16

Australia: 285-2

Aaron Finch: 153 not out (143)

Usman Khawaja: 88 (109)

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