Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Finch, Zampa star as Australia ease to series win over Pakistan

Aaron Finch. (Getty Images)

ABU DHABI: Skipper Aaron Finch just missed a record hundred while Adam Zampa took four wickets and Pat Cummins claimed three as Australia demolished Pakistan by 80 runs in the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Finch hit a 136-ball 90 to steer Australia to 266-6 in 50 overs on a slow-paced Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch before Zampa (4-43) and Cummins (3-24) jolted Pakistan’s batting before they folded at 186 in 44.4 overs.

The win gives Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series with the last two games taking place in Dubai on Friday and Sunday.

Australia won the first two matches by identical margins of eight wickets — both in Sharjah — and continued their dominance of a depleted Pakistan side who rested six of their key players in a surprise move, two months before the World Cup.

Cummins, fresh after resting the first two matches, followed his 14 wickets in the series win in India earlier this month, by dismissing Shan Masood (two) in his third over and then had Haris Sohail (one) and Mohammad Rizwan (nought) in his fourth.

That left Pakistan reeling at 16-3 before opener Imam-ul-Haq (46) and Shoaib Malik (32) put on a fourth wicket stand of 59 before Glenn Maxwell trapped Imam leg-before.

Umar Akmal (36) and Imad Wasim (43) also fought during their stand of 53 for the sixth wicket but Zampa mopped up the tail with career best figures.

Finch was happy with the series win, Australia’s sixth over Pakistan since 2002.

“We’ve been building up and doing the basics well,” said Finch. “Any time you can beat India and Pakistan in their home conditions is good.

“We’re playing spin a lot better than we have in the past and that is an improvement.”

Malik rued loss of early wickets in the chase.

“Keeping wickets and going deep in the game, that’s where you can chase, but we couldn’t do that,” said Malik, standing in for regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed who is rested for the series.

“The Aussie bowlers were seaming and swinging the ball. Before that we gave a chance to Maxwell and if you give chance to a good batsman, then expect to chase something big,” said Malik of the dropped catch off Maxwell when he had made 27.

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