Finch back-to-back tons fray Pakistan


SHARJAH: Australia captain Aaron Finch struck amazing hundred to lead his side to victory against Pakistan in the second one-day international against Australia in Sharjah on Sunday.

Openers Finch and Usman Khawaja made a 209-run stand, drilling the bowlers all around the park. Finch’s unbeaten 153 and 88 by Khawaja ensured an easy win for Aussies.

Pakistan only managed to pick two wickets, with Yasir Shah getting one scalp.

Australia now lead the five-match series 2-0 after winning the first two games played at the same venue.

Earlier, Pakistan’s wicket-keeping batsman Mohammad Rizwan hit a maiden hundred to guide Pakistan to 284-7.

The 30-year-old knocked 11 boundaries in his 115 total as Pakistan — who won the toss and batted — once again failed to crack the 300-mark on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.

Rizwan, only playing because regular keeper and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been rested for the series — added 52 for the third wicket with Haris Sohail (34) and an invaluable 127 for the fifth wicket with stand-in captain Shoaib Malik.

Pakistan lost opener Imam-ul-Haq without scoring off the fifth ball of the innings from fast bowler Jhye Richardson.

Shan Masood (19) and Sohail — who scored his maiden hundred in the first game on Friday — took the total to 35 when Richardson struck again, getting Masood caught at short mid-wicket.

But Richardson took 2-16 in his five overs and fell awkwardly in the outfield and left the field in the 11th over. Initial reports suggests he dislocated his shoulder and is doubtful for the remaining three matches.

Rizwan, though, lifted Pakistan after Umar Akaml fell for 16, caught off spinner Nathan Lyon.

Rizwan improved on his previous best of 75 not out, against Zimbabwe at Harare four years ago and completed his hundred with a single off 114 balls. He fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile to a boundary catch.

Nile finished with 2-52.

Malik also smashed three boundaries and a six before falling in the 45th over.

Pakistan replaced experienced fast bowler Mohammad Amir with rookie Mohammad Hasnain for his first match while Australia remained unchanged.