Australia beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in the 3rd ODI. Here is the full commentary and scorecard.
The comments from Josh Hazlewood and Steven Smith were vindicated in the 3rd ODI as Pakistan failed to capitalise in the last 10 overs and Australia stealing the win. Steven Smith produced another disastrous innings at the WACA with a 108 not out to guide Australia to the win. They paced the finish line with 5 overs to spare. Australia took the lead in the series with 2-1 and 2 matches are remaining.
A hundred from Smith was complimented by by a 82 from Peter Handscomb (on ODI debut). With the ball, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 32 in 10 overs. Travis Head also took 2 important wickets in the start and hit the winning runs at the end. We saw that sloppy Pakistan we have seen time and time again in the game and this was a major reason for their loss.
Handscomb might just be the luckiest man for the Australians this summer. First he survived a battery of South African fast bowling on his debut and now against Pakistan was caught at first slip but it was a no ball from Junaid Khan and then dropped at point (another no ball from Junaid). If that the first no ball had not happened Australia could have fell to 46 for 3 giving Pakistan real hope for the victory. When that 3rd wicket finally fell, Australia and Peter Handscomb had already done the damage and victory was in sight.
Early wickets from Junaid and Amir gave Pakistan hope that they could pull of a victory with the help of their battery of fast bowlers with the openers – Usman Khawaja and David Warner – being dismissed in the first 10 overs. Khawaja caught the edge of a swinging ball from Amir (who has flourished in this ODI series) and was out for 9 and Warner was caught by a out swinger from Junaid for Rizwan to take a catch behind the wickets. Although a great start from Pakistan, Handscomb once again was lucky and the 183 run partnership did the job for Australia very nicely.
Not a particularly exciting but useful innings from Handscomb contained a number of singles and 6 fours with of them being thick edges flying over the keeper. He finished that innings with his name in the record books scoring the 3rd highest score on ODI debut for Australia behind Phillip Hughes (112 vs Sri Lanka) and Phil Jaques (94 vs South Africa). Eventually, and finally for Pakistan his luck ran out and was caught of the bowling of Hasan Ali.
Travis Head struck an unbeaten 23 with hitting the winning which once again sparked the argument of the role of Glenn Maxwell. With Australia again using only 1 spinner, Maxwell did not bowl but Australia did not care who did what, they got a victory.
The major for the win of Australia was the fluency of Smith and how freely he scored – granted a couples of lives from the Pakistanis – with his 97 ball century. This amazing innings included 11 fours and a six. Another Australian in the record books as he became the fastest Australian batsman to get to 3000 runs in his 79th innings.
It was the final 10 overs that Pakistan did not capitalise in and the Pakistani fans remember the days of Abdur Razzaq and Shahid Afrid but they were no where to be seen. Sharjeel Khan once again stepped up to the mark with a 50 to set the stage and then Babar Azam also cashed in with a 50 but Pakistan could not get to that 300 plus score that looked easy at the start of the innings. From 213 for 4 at the 40th over many people expected them to at least get close but that was not the case.
Azam and Umar Akmal fell to Josh Hazlewood (3 for 32 in 10 over) who bowled a economical spell plus took 3 important wickets. The last 5 overs only brought 21 runs to Pakistan with just 1 boundary with Rizwan not being able to get bat on ball. Somehow, Pakistan crawled 263 which looked like it might be a dependable target with the form of Junaid and Amir.
The start of the innings was strong for the Pakistanis as Sharjeel smashed 20 runs from the 4th over brought to you by the new comer Billy Stanlake. Sharjeel hit his signature pull over mid wicket for a six and then 3 consecutive boundaries which made the rookie’s numbers look bad in only his 2nd ODI. But Australians had nothing to worry about as Hazlewood came to the rescue and trapped Hafeez LBW the very next ball for 4.
The departure of his partner had no effect on the batting of Sharjeel as he smashed 3 consecutive boundaries again of Head but then chopped one one and departed for a well made 50 of 47 balls to give Head his first of the match. Them Shafiq came down the crease for an adventure but sent a thick edge to short third man and was back in the pavilion for just 5. Azam and Shoaib Malik steadied the boat for a partnership of 63 for the fourth wicket.
Malik then fell victim to Stanlake for his first international wicket on 39 and he joined his fallen teammates in the pavilion. In came Umar Akmal who added a 60 run partnership with Azam and was given a life when he came to Head but the stumping chance was missed from the keeper.
Azam was the key for Pakistan but he only scored 4 fours and 1 six of his 84. On the other hand, he was the player the Pakistanis could revolve their innings around and they did as he scored more runs in this one match than he had in the whole test series. The Pakistani was in the record books as well along side Sir Viv Richards, KP, Joanthan Trott and Quinton de Kock by reaching his 1000 runs in 21 innings (joint fastest with Sir Viv Richards). Pakistan need him to get to that 100 but instead he became Hazlewood’s 2nd victim when he pulled a ball into the deep and was caught magnificently by Handscomb.
Hazlewood got his 3rd when Akmal edged a bouncer to Wade, the keeper, for 39. The Australian fielding was on point as in the next over Head came running from mid-off and caught Imad Wasim for 9 with a gem to remember for a long long time.
With wickets in the last 10 and no runs being made, Pakistan’s hopes of getting even close to 300 were finished that was the Australians needed. Australia crossed the finish line with 30 balls to spare. Pakistan will have to work their butts off to get this series back.
The Cornered Tiger