Pakistan won the first T20I of the series against Australia, in so doing ensuring that they will retain their status as No 1 T20I nation in world cricket, even if they go on to lose the series.
Babar Azam got Pakistan’s innings off to a decent start, carrying his bat for 68 off 55 balls (five fours, one six), and adding 73 for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (39 off 30, two fours, two sixes).
Pakistan ended on a decent 155-8 off their 20 overs at a rate of 7.75 runs per over. Billy Stanlake returned the best figures of the innings (3-21), narrowly pipping Andrew Tye (3-24), the latter twice dismissing Pakistan batters for golden ducks.
Aussie skipper Aaron Finch fell for a three-ball duck and big-hitting D’Arcy Short departed for four off two balls to leave Australia in a slight pickle at 2-5 at the end of the first over.
Chris Lynn (14) tried to bring some stability to the innings, but when he departed in the sixth over Australia were 22-6 and almost beyond redemption in the contest. Ashton Agar (19) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) added 38 for the seventh wicket, but the Pakistan bowlers were not to be denied, as Australia collapsed to 89 all out off 16.5 overs.
The innings was Australia’s joint third-lowest score in T20Is (also against Pakistan, in 2012), with their worst performance being the 79 their power-packed batting line-up scraped together against England in 2005 in what was only the second T20I ever played.
The Pakistan bowlers all got among the wickets, with Imad Wasim (3-20), Faheem Ashraf (2-10) and Shaheen Afridi (2-23) returning the best figures. Wasim deservedly took the Player of the Match honours.
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