By our correspondent
LAHORE: Aaron Finch and Nathan Ellis did well as Australia downed Pakistan by three wickets in the one-off T20 game which also fell curtain on the historic series which carried three Tests, three ODI and one-of T20.
In the night game here at the Gaddafi Stadium, Finch, who remained out of form during the ODi series, did well with the bat, scoring 55 off 45 balls as Australia chased the 163-run target with five balls to spare.
Ben McDermott hit a four off Haris Rauf’s first ball of the final over towards square-leg to bring in a fine win for the visitors who lost the ODI series 1-2 after winning the Test series 1-0.
Finch, who was dislodged by Shaheen Afridi in the penultimate over of the game, hit six fours. He added 40 in 21 balls for the first wicket with Travis Head who seemed too dangerous before being sent back by leggie Usman Qadir for a 14-ball 26 which featured three fours and one six. Josh Inglis made a 15-ball 24, striking two fours and one six and Marcus Stoinis did a fine job when he scored a nine-ball 23 with five fours before being clean bowled by Mohammad Wasim Junior with a splendid delivery. Ben McDermott remained not out on a 19-ball 22 which carried three fours.
Shaheen, who got two wickets in his last over to leave Australia four runs to score in the final over, picked 2-21. Usman Qadir (2-33) and Wasim Junior (2-30) also did well with the ball.
After being invited to bat first, Babar Azam (66) led from the front with another fifty. He added 67 runs for the opening stand with Mohammad Rizwan before the latter was bowled by Cameron Green for a 19-ball 23, featuring one six and one four. However after that a few quick wickets fell which slowed down Pakistan’s run-scoring speed and were restricted to 162-8. Babar, who was dislodged by Adam Zampa, struck six fours and two sixes from 46 balls. Khushdil Shah scored a 23-ball 24, hammering three fours while Usman Qadir, in the end, blasted 18 not out off just six balls, striking one six and two fours to take Pakistan to a good total.
Nathan Ellis was the pick of the bowlers with 4-28 while Cameron Green claimed 2-16 in three overs. Finch was adjudged as man of the match. “We were 20 runs short. Me and Rizwan gave a good start but after that wickets fell in short intervals that slowed down our run-scoring speed,” Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam said.
“In the absence of Shadab and Nawaz it was a good opportunity for youngsters and Usman bowled really well today,” Babar said. “There are no more T20 cricket before the World Cup later this year but I am satisfied with my unit and in the ODI series everyone played a role,” Babar said.