Pakistan face Australia with T20 top ranking at stake today

Pakistan face Australia with T20 top ranking at stake today

Javier Howell
October 27, 2018

Pakistan, who were sent into bat, scored 155-8 in the first Twenty20 global against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The three-match series kicked off at Abu Dhabi, with its all-rounders, all itching to take on the opposition in the shortest format. Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Shah Afridi also picked up two wickets in the fixture.

Having lost the recent Test series against Pakistan - their second series loss in a row after losing 3-1 to South Africa earlier this year - and suffering a 6-0 white ball demolition by England, Australia is desperate for any crumbs of recognition as their trophy cabinet is gathering cobwebs.

Pakistan scored 155-8 in their 20 overs as Babar Azam struck an unbeaten 68 before Imad Wasim took 3 for 20 to bowl Australia out for 89 in 16.5 overs -their joint-third lowest total in all T20 internationals.

Australia: Aaron Finch (captain), D'Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Billy Stanlake. "Opening the batting, it's my responsibility to get us off to a good start and set up the chase there".

Sarfraz Ahmed also praised an allround performance.

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"It was just carnage", Finch said. Azam put on a 73-run partnership with the veteran Mohammad Hafeez (39 off 30 balls) to put Pakistan in a strong position towards the end of the fourteenth over.

Each of Australia's top four batsmen were bowled and Chris Lynn (14) was the only member of the top six to reach double digits in a 66-run defeat in which Australia posted their equal third-lowest total in a T20 global. "I think when that many guys get bowled it's obviously alarming, particularly on a flat surface that didn't swing a hell of a lot".

Billy Stanlake (3/21) and Andrew Tye (3/24) were in great form and it seemed like Pakistan had thrown away the advantage.

Australia needed to win the series 3-nil to secure the number one T20 ranking, but now need to refocus ahead of the second clash in Dubai on Saturday.

Finch, who himself got out for a duck, didn't mince words in his assessment of the top order and took the blame for failing to get his team off to a better start, an ICC report on Thursday said.