All-round Aussie power pummel Pakistan in Sharjah ODI

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Aaron Finch was sent packing for a ‘Royal Duck’-dismissed on the first ball of the match, but Australia recovered well to set Pakistan a stiff target in the first of the three match ODI series being played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Steve Smith who walked in to bat after Finch’s dismissal led his team’s recovery by posting a superb century-his maiden one in the ODI format.

Smith was given good support by David Warner who was dismissed by Shahid Afridi-during a fine opening spell of bowling by the veteran leg-spinner.

Smith lost his partners George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell and James Faulkner yet held his end intact through an intelligent approach-mixing caution with aggression-he reached the 100-run mark of his 115 balls.

He finally returned to the pavilion in the 45th over of the innings-dismissed by Afridi, who ended his six match wickets drought by snapping three for 46 runs in the innings.

The late order batsmen failed to sustain the momentum provided by Smith-losing wickets in pursuit of quick runs.

Mitchell Johnson though turned it around in the final over of the innings where he scored three boundaries off Wahab Riaz-helping Aussies end their batting stint at 255 for eight.

Meanwhile fast bowler Junaid Khan who suffered a knee injury on the eve of the match was taken for a MRI scan during Australia’s innings.

His participation in the ODI series remains doubtful due to the problem.

The remaining one-day matches will be played in Dubai (October 10) and Abu Dhabi (October 12). The one-days will be followed by two Tests.

Teams:

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Irfan, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Zulfiqar Babar.

Australia: George Bailey (C), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Johnson, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon.

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