Finch, Marsh hammer Pakistan to win series opener


SHARJAH: Australia captain Aaron Finch and middle-order batsman Shaun Marsh hammered Pakistan in a century partnership to win the first ODI played in Sharjah on Friday.

Finch scored 116 with four 6s and eight 4s while Marsh remained unbeaten at 91. Mohammad Abbas and Faheem Ashraf picked one wicket each.

Earlier, left-hander Haris Sohail knocked his maiden one-day century to guide Pakistan to 280-5.

The 30-year-old made 115-ball 101 not out in his comeback match after returning home from the South Africa tour with a knee injury last year, lifting Pakistan to a fighting total in their 50 overs.

Pakistan, having rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to give them break before the World Cup 2019, won the toss on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.

Haris, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, added 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made 50-ball 49 in his first international match for two years.

Haris took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six. He made his previous best of 89 not out against Zimbabwe in Lahore in 2015.

Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masoor and Mohammad Abbas — who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.

Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.

Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.

Umar, who last played for Pakistan in Australia in January 2017, smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.

Skipper Shoaib Malik fell for 11 and Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.

Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.