T20I Tri-Series final: Australia set Pakistan 184-run target

Ruben Hill
July 9, 2018

Pakistan gained a mental advantage over Australia by dominating Aaron Finch's team in a match that served as a dress rehearsal for Sunday's Twenty20 triangular tournament final at the Harare Sports Club. First, he added 45 with captain Sarfraz Ahmed to take his team out of immediate danger, and he then added 107 for the fourth wicket with Malik to seize the advantage for Pakistan.

Zaman's third half-century lifted Pakistan to 194/7, their highest T20I total against Australia.

278 - Fakhar Zaman's 278 runs in this tournament are the most by a Pakistan player and overall the 6th most in a T20I series/tournament. A Shaheen Afridi-led bowling attack then restricted Australia to 149/7.

With Finch nicking a flawless delivery from left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi to wicketkeeper and captain Safraz Ahmed in the fifth over for 16 runs, Pakistan started believing that the day certainly belonged to them. The left-arm quick had the Australian captain caught behind off an inside edge in the fifth over, and in his next he trapped Glenn Maxwell (10) plumb in front.

Short is expected to again partner Finch at the top of Australia's order, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey (who performed the role against Zimbabwe on Friday) to drop back down the order.

Pakistan included the youthful Afridi for his second T20I in place of Hasan Ali, while Usman Khan came in for Mohammad Nawaz.

Pakistan handed a debut to opener Sahibzada Farhan, who was out for a duck without facing a legal delivery.

Playing his first innings of the series, Nic Maddinson (5) was stumped off the bowling of Shadab Khan, before Shaheen bowlded D'Arcy Short (28) to end his tortured 34-ball stay.

In response, Pakistan got off to the worst possible start as they lost two wickets in the opening over bowled by Glenn Maxwell. His innings was studded with nine boundaries and three sixes. In between those two wickets, Faheem Ashraf castled Travis Head (7) to leave Australia three down in the first seven overs.

Their ultimate victory capped a mixed day for Pakistan.

Both sides had already qualified for Sunday's tournament final, making this game chiefly a chance to gain information and psychological high ground.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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