Pakistan beat Australia in T20I Tri-Series
Seven T20Is were scheduled to be played between host nation Zimbabwe and touring countries Pakistan and Australia. After having played three games and losing all, Zimbabwe were knocked out of the tournament, leaving yesterday's Pakistan vs Australia encounter to be a dead rubber.
Australia opted to field first, trying to repeat the new ball damage they caused to Pakistan the last game they played against each other. Billy Stanlake finished with magical T20 figures of 4-0-8-4 in that game, but went wicketless yesterday, as the Pakistan batsmen were more cautious at the start.
After losing Haris Sohail for a first-ball duck, Fakhar Zaman and Hussain Talat combined well for a 72-run stand. Zaman continued his merry way, scoring his second fifty of the series and finishing with 73(42) that allowed Pakistan a competitive total of 194/7. Asif Ali played another useful cameo of 37(18)*, while Andrew Tye was the pick of the Aussie bowlers - 3/35.
Aaron Finch was fresh of a 68* in the first game followed by a world record 172 in his next game, and the start he gave the Aussies was vital. However, he wasn't able to replicate those efforts, being dismissed for just 16(11) by the 18-year old fast bowler, Shaheen Afridi.
Afridi was just playing his 2nd T20I for Pakistan and after going wicketless on debut, he impressed one and all with a 3/37 yesterday, which shook Australia early. The Aussies weren't able to recover from that early loss of wickets, finishing with just 149/7 and falling short by 45 runs. They lost the game and are currently taking on Zimbabwe in another dead rubber, as Australia and Pakistan will play again in the tri-series final, which is scheduled for 8th July.
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