ABU DHABI: Pakistan dismantled the Australian batting in the first T20 International in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after spinner Imad Wasim got his team off to a thrilling start while defending the mediocre score of 155.
The green shirts bowled out Australia for just 89 after ending their innings on 155/8 with Babar Azam carrying his bat with 68 not out. Imad dismissed both openers Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short and finished with three wickets in the game. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Faheem Ashraf picked two wickets each.
During the first innings, Pakistan were seriously hampered by losing five wickets in 10 balls late in their innings. Billy Stanlake and Andrea Tye did most of the damage with three wickets each.
Aaron Finch won the toss and asked Pakistan to bat in the first of three-T20I series in Abu Dhabi. Finch said that he backed his bowlers to keep Pakistan to a score the Australia batsmen were comfortable chasing. Australia went with the same line-up that beat the UAE on Monday, which meant there was no place for Mitchell Marsh in the starting XI, while Mitchell Starc wasn’t fit enough.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was happy to bat first. Pakistan did not have the services of Shoaib Malik for this game and Imad played his first international match this year.
Mohammad Hafeez returned to the T20I side after sitting out of the tri-series involving Australia and Zimbabwe in July, with Shaheen Afridi playing his first T20I since the home series against West Indies in April.
PAKISTAN: 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Babar Azam, 3 Hussain Talat, 4 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), 5 Mohammad Hafeez, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Faheem Ashraf, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Shaheen Afridi
AUSTRALIA: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 D’Arcy Short, 3 Chris Lynn, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Ben McDermott, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Ashton Agar, 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Billy Stanlake