Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Pakistan face Australia with Twenty20 top ranking at stake

Pakistan face Australia with Twenty20 top ranking at stake

A youthful Pakistan crushed Australia by 66 runs in the first Twenty20 worldwide in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan's Twenty20 regular Shoaib Malik joined the squad on Wednesday morning and was not picked for the opening match of the three-game series.

Only twice have Australia scored fewer runs in a T20 worldwide, making just 79 against England at Southampton in 2005 and 86 in a defeat by India at Dhaka four years ago. Fast bowler Faheem Ashraf accounted for the next two wickets in Chris Lynn (14) and Glenn Maxwell (2) as Australia slumped to 16/4 in the fourth over. None of Australia's top six batsmen even managed to cross 14.The visitors lost their first six wickets inside the Powerplay which the Australian captain Aaron Finch called "a vehicle crash in slow motion".

Meanwhile, Pakistan's quick start received a heat check as they ended 20 overs on 8-155, recording a 66-run victory.

Set a target of 156 after Aaron Finch elected to field in Abu Dhabi, Australia were bowled out in 16.5 overs for their equal third-lowest total in a T20 global. Ashton Agar (19) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) put up a rearguard action with a seventh-wicket stand of 38 but the end came quickly after Agar was caught behind.

The trophy was designed in honour of the T20 series sponsors, biscuit-maker TUC, with captains Sarfraz Ahmed and Aaron Finch posing light-heartedly with the trophy ahead of the start of the series on Thursday.

Finch said the defeat was embarrasing.

Set 156 to win after Pakistan posted 8/155 from its 20 overs, led by Babar Azam's 68 not out and 39 from Mohammad Hafeez, Australia was never in the hunt.

Finch said changes would be strongly considered for Friday's second T20 in Dubai, which will also host the third and final game on Sunday.

The two Australian pacemen Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye, did most of the damage, with three wickets apiece.

"I think any time you play anyone in a different country it's massively important and everyone wants to win", said Finch, who has won eight of the 16 matches, losing the other eight since in charge for four years.

Like this: