Aussies back in business

HARARE - Australia put aside struggles from their tour of England by expertly dispatching the number one-ranked Twenty20 side Pakistan by nine-wickets in the second match of the triangular series yesterday.

It was just the tonic the Australians needed to forget about their tour of England where they lost 5-0 in the ODIs and 1-0 in the lone T20 match.

Pakistan had started the series with a 75-run win over hosts Zimbabwe on Sunday and were hoping to put one foot in next Sunday’s final with a second victory over the Aussies.

Australia’s towering seamer Billy Stanlake, playing in his eighth T20 since making his debut in February last year against Sri Lanka in Melbourne, led the charge with a barrage of pace and bounce taking four wickets.

The Baggy Greens’ quick finished the match with figures of four for 8 and was duly named the man-of-the-match.

Andrew Tye another Australian seamer weighed in with three wickets from 3,5 overs for 38 runs helping his team restrict Pakistan to a measly 116 all out inside 19,5 overs completing their captain Aaron Finch’s choice to bat first after winning the toss.

“We had a disappointing tour of the UK; great for us to get a nice start in the series. My role is to be aggressive upfront and take wickets in the Powerplay and make it hard for the opposition to get on a roll,” Stanlake said after the match.

“Hopefully, we can build on this. With the early wickets, Finch kept going with me. First time I have bowled out in one go. Finch was terrific in the field and with the bat.”

For Pakistan, Shadhab Khan top scored with 29, Asif Ali chipped in with 22 while Faheem Ashraf added 21 on a difficult morning for the batsmen.

Aussie skipper Finch then led from the front scoring an unbeaten 33-ball 68 making it look as if he and his merry band of Baggy Greens were batting on a different pitch all together.

Opener D’Arcy Short was the only casualty for Australia going out for 15 runs before Travis Head (20) joined his skipper to a whirlwind finish reaching 117/1 in 10.5 overs.

With the massive hammering of Pakistan, Australia assumed top spot on the log with four points and a healthy net run rate of 5.000.

Pakistan are in second with four points and a net run rate of 0.153 while Zimbabwe looking for their first win this morning are still to get off the mark and have a negative run rate of -3.700.

Match Summary

Pakistan 116 all out (19.5 overs) -  Shadhab Khan 29 (25), Asif Ali 22 (20), Faheem Ashraf 21 (17)

Bowling: Billy Stanlake 4-8 (4 overs), Andrew Tye 3-38 (3.5 overs), Australia 117/1 (10.5 overs) - Aaron Finch 68* (33), Travis Head 20 *(18), D’Arcy Short 15 (14)

Bowling: Hasan Ali 1-18 (2)


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