BRISBANE – The batting lineup fails once again as Pakistan lose six wickets for just 133 runs, chasing a total of 269 in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Gabba.
As soon as Azhar Ali got retired hurt, Pakistan lost Sharjil, and hafiz successively. Azam and Umar Akmal chipped for a while, but a poor shot from Umar Akmal (18) and then from Azam (33), brought the pressure back on Pakistan.
Rizwan’s slow batting was the other reason, he went for 21 and soon Nawaz got out 1 run, leaving its team 133/6.
Earlier, Australia posted 268/9, thanks to Mathew Wade’s brilliant hundred.
At one stage, Australia were reduced to 78 for five in 16.5 overs.
Wade and Glenn Maxwell established a crucial 82-run stand for the sixth wicket to turn the tables around Australia. After Maxwell was forced to mistime a short-of-a-length Hasan Ali delivery on 60, wickets continued to fall but Wade remained firm on one end.
Australia, after winning the toss and deciding to bat first, started their innings in a predictable aggressive style but Pakistan bowlers continued to bowl in the right areas, resulting in breakthroughs in regular intervals.
Though a bit expensive, Hasan turned out to be Pakistan’s most-successful bowler as he returned figures 9-0-65-3.
As the match went underway, Amir got rid of David Warner and Australian skipper Steve Smith on successive deliveries, before Hasan returned to break a 39-run stand for the third wicket by getting an edge off Chris Lynn’s bat to wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan.
Then a bowling change to introduce Imad Wasim into the attack worked for Pakistan captain Azhar Ali. Wasim, who has so far played 14 ODIs for Pakistan, took two crucial wickets of Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh.
Mohammad Nawaz also chipped in by claiming a key wicket of James Faulkner.
Australia fielded two debutants in number four batsman Chris Lynn and paceman Billy Stanlake, as well as the return of all-rounder Maxwell.
Shoaib Malik has a throat infection and misses the opening game with all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez returning to the Pakistan side.
Azhar Ali leads a Pakistan one-day team that has lost its last five matches against Australia.