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Australia thumb Pakistan, face Zim next

The Aussies made short work of Pakistan with a convincing 9 wicket victory barely 24 hours after the latter had thrashed Zimbabwe at the ongoing T20I tri-series encounter.

By SportBrief Reporter

It was a case of the hunter becoming the hunted as Pakistan, fresh from their commanding 74-run victory over Zimbabwe yesterday (Sunday), were brought down to earth in devastating fashion.

Aussie’s bowler Billy Stanlake recorded his best-ever figures in cricket with a four-wicket haul to pause Pakistan’s smooth sail in the shortest format, as Australia claimed a resounding victory against the number-one ranked side, at the Harare Sports Club on Monday (July 2), with relative ease.

Just to underline how impressive this win was for Australia, this was only Pakistan’s second loss in their last 13 games in T20I cricket.

Having won the toss Australia, playing their first game of the tri-series, opted to bowl first. That decision proved to be master class as their bowlers took full advantage of the beautiful, sunny Harare weather to run riot at the Pakistani batsmen.

That resulted in Pakistan losing their top four batsmen inside just seven overs. Stanlake ran in with ferocious rhythm and caused all sorts of problems with his bustling pace and bounce with the 23-year old recorded figures of 4 for 8 in his four overs leaving Pakistan no room to recover and thereby, setting the perfect tone to the game and the series.

After the early wobble, Pakistan desperately needed a partnership but a terrible misjudgment from Asif Ali cost his team the wicket of Shoaib Malik who looked promising in his brief stay at the crease in his 100th T20I.

Pakistan were increasingly looking a pale shadow of the side that sits atop of the T20I rankings as soon after, Asif Ali gifted his wicket attempting a vacuous cross-bat slog and the seventh-wicket partnership of 31 between Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan only succeeded in saving some blushes in an otherwise sorry-looking scorecard as they were bundled out for 117.

Chasing 117, Australia rocketed 35 runs in no-time and with the Pakistan bowling attack largely unimpressive, skipper Aaron Finch belted a quick-fire fifty [33-ball 68] to seal the deal with 55 balls to spare, thus, registering the biggest win (in terms of balls remaining) against Pakistan in T20Is.

Hasan Ali managed to remove D’Arcy Short in his first over, but all of it accounted for nothing but his birthday present.

With that, one can only hope that the Chevrons dramatically improve from their poor showing in the first T20 match with Australia will now facing the hosts on Tuesday. Otherwise, Zimbabwe could be on the receiving end of a thorough hiding.

Summary Scoreline: Pakistan 116 all-out in 19.5 overs (Shadab Khan 29; Billy Stanlake 4-8, Andrew Tye 3-38) lost to Australia 117/1 in 10.5 overs (Finch 68*; Hasan Ali 1-18) by 9 wickets.

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