Australia beat Pakistan by 86 runs in the 4th ODI. Here is the full commentary and scorecard.
Pakistani goof-ups in the field and another high jump for the blistering Australian opener, David Warner, was the story at the SCG as Australia took the victory and the series 3-1. It felt like we were feeling Deja Vu from the test series in this match. Now, Pakistan can only hope for a victory at the Adelaide Oval for their series loss not to look as bad and make it 3-2.
The blows to Pakistan were taken early as Warner raced to a half-century in just 35 balls and got the score up to 212 for 1 with Steven Smith in the 36th over with the one scalp being Usman Khawaja who was the first of five for the younster Hasan Ali. Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head then set the stage for a strong finish by getting 118 runs of the last 10 over unlike Pakistan in the 3rd ODI. Smith, Maxwell and Head were the lucky ones today being offered many lives by the horrendous Pakistani fielding. 354 would have been the highest successful run chase in Australia’s back garden but it was not to be this time for Pakistan.
Although, Sharjeel Khan once again gave a great start to Pakistan with his 46 ball 74 but when he tried to slog sweep Adam Zampa for his fourth six of the innings Warner came running from the boundary to take the catch. After that the target was always too much, far too much.
The day was not always that good for Sharjeel. Head skied on off the bowling of Junaid Khan but the catch was grassed by Sharjeel. This hurt Pakistan as Head went on to make a 50 of 35 balls. It was Sharjeel’s second drop of the match with before he dropped Smith at backward point which also cost the Pakistanis as Smith made 49. In the whole story, Pakistan missed 6 catches which is far too many to be against a team like Australia.
Pakistan’s fielding was a key point in their test and ODI series defeat and you could see the emotions on the face of Steve Rixon (Pakistani fielding coach) that were the players doing what they had been taught. Their fielding was chaotic, fumbles and overthrows were the headlines of the innings and slow running to the ball was the point where Australia picked up those extra runs.
It was not only Pakistan who made the bad choices in the field. Australia also dropped catches a couple of times but made up for them by taking the important wickets very quickly like Warner (you cannot keep this man out of the game) came running once again to take the catch of Shoaib Malik for 47 of the bowling of Head.
Pakistani fielding was not the only thing on the table that made Pakistan taste defeat. The still had to deal with another Warner hundred. He was also dropped but only when he had gone past the milestone. His devastating innings included 11 fours and 2 sixes as well as recording his 8th ODI century in the past year. He slowed down significantly after his half century and brought up his century of 98 balls. The jump gets higher every time don’t you think and that what happened. The party had to end and Hasan Ali provided the break through when he edged off to the keeper, Mohammed Rizwan.
Warner had been the keystone of his partnership between Khawaja (94 runs) and then with Smith (120 runs). Hasan Ali broke the stand by getting Smith for 47 and Warner for 130 in the same over but when Head and Maxwell came they could not be stopped by anyone in the Pakistan team.
Maxwell was dropped of 8 by Hasan and went on to make a vital 78 runs for his country. Hasan had already grassed Warner on 113 before but he made up for it with his 5 wicket haul. The Maxwell and Head partnership was worth 100 runs of just 10 overs proving very important to get to that 353 target. Maxwell’s fifty came off just 34 balls before Head was caught in the deep by Shoaib Malik off the bowling of Mohammed Amir for 51. Hasan completed a five-wicket haul by getting Matthew Wade and Maxwell in the final over, but the damage had already been done.
Australia had smashed 353 and Pakistan needed for every batsman to contribute towards it. That did not start so well with Azhar Ali being caught by Smith for 7 off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood. Then Babar Azam was caught in the deep by Hazlewood off the bowling of Head for 31. Then, Sharjeel – who was the only one who gave a fight – perished and the game was firmly in the hands of the Australians.
The RRR (required run-rate) went through the roof with wickets falling at regular intervals. Mohammed Hafeez was taken off Zampa in the deep for 40, Malik picked out Head for 47, Umar Akmal skied Mitchell Starc for 11 and Rizwan was trapped LBW by Zampa for 10. The tradegies did not stop there as the tail was cleaned up quickly with Amir being caught for 5, then Imad Wasim being caught behind for 25 then a golden duck for Junaid.
Australia had completed a 86 run victory to take the series. Warner was named Man of the Match. Now can Pakistan upset Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Australia Day? I will see you there.
The Cornered Tiger