Pakistanis beat Cricket Australia XI by 196 runs. Here is the full scorecard and commentary.
With a strong batting display from Babar Azam (98), Sharjeel Khan (62) and Umar Akmal (54) we saw the destructive batting line-up that we have seen time and time again from the Pakistanis. The Pakistani bowling line-up finished the match quickly led by Hasan Ali with figures of 3 for 18 to defeat Cricket Australia XI by 196 runs at the Allan Border Ground in Brisbane.
The Pakistanis were put into bat first by CA XI in their only warm-up game before the 5 match ODI series against Australia. Mickey Arthur experimented by sending Asad Shafiq to open with Sharjeel Khan but the experiment failed as Shafiq was caught and bowled by Henry Thorton who finished with 3 for 69 in 10 overs.
Enter Babar Azam. Babar regained his white ball form by hitting a 98 and making a partnership of 83 with Sharjeel Khan. Between the first and second wicket of Thorton, the Pakistanis added 262 runs in just 40 overs led by the explosive opener Sharjeel Khan who scored a 39 ball 62 with 11 4’s and 1 6. After this stand hurt CA XI in came Shoaib Malik (49 off 60) who scored a partnership of 73 for the third wicket. The final blow to the CA XI bowling line-up was a 101 run partnership with Babar Azam and Umar Akmal (54 off 39). The Pakistanis lower order added 54 off the last 7 overs to make the final score 334 for 7. The captain Azhar Ali came at number 8 to add only one run off the only ball he faced. As well as Thorton, Henry Green took 3 for 59 in his 10 overs.
Imad Wasim (2 for 23) and Hasan Ali (3 for 18), the Pakistani bowling openers, took key and early wickets from the CA XI with the first 4 wickets falling in just the first 8 overs. Some stability was brought from the 5th wicket partnership by Jason Sangha (20 off 40) and John Inglis (70 off 64) but was then broken by Shoaib Malik (2 for 20). Rahat Ali, Mohammed Nawaz and Azhar Ali all took one wicket but Hasan Ali then came in the end to finish the innings off.
It was good to see that 4 important players gained back their white ball form and the Pakistanis and their fans will hope that they perform in the upcoming 5 match ODI series against Australia. This series will be extremely important for the direct qualification of Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup which will be held in England.
The Cornered Tiger