Ellis, Finch Headline Australia's Win

Led by Nathan Ellis’s four-fer and Aaron Finch’s half-century, Australia registered a three-wicket win over Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, on Tuesday, in the one-off T20I. Chasing 163 runs for a win, Australia completed the chase with five balls to spare to end their first-ever three-format tour of Pakistan on a high note.

Was it a closely-fought contest?

The end result may seem so. But for the longest time, Australia seemed to have had the edge over the hosts, especially with Aaron Finch in the middle.

What did Finch do?

He held one end up and ensured that Australia didn’t lose grip of the chase. In the company of Travis Head and Josh Inglis, he stitched two quickfire stands for the first two wickets, which set the base for Australia’s run chase. Head and Inglis were on the attack as the visitors scored 84 runs in 8.3 overs, losing both the aggressive batters.

Finch went on to score a 45-ball 55 – his 16th T20I fifty before becoming the sixth batsman to fall, only five runs short of the target in the 19th over.

How did it get so close then?

Pakistan kept chipping in with regular wickets. Usman Qadir had Inglis caught behind in the ninth over and then in his next over had Marnus Labuschagne stumped by some sharp work from Mohammad Rizwan.

However, Finch kept reviving Australia’s chase and stitched a couple of more handy partnerships in the company of Marcus Stoinis and Ben McDermott. Stoinis slammed five boundaries in his brief nine-ball stay to pump up Australia’s scoring rate while Finch was soaking up deliveries.

However, Pakistan dented in two blows each time. Stoinis’s fall was soon followed by the dismissal of Cameron Green, and Finch’s fall by that of Sean Abbott for a duck However, McDermott eventually took the team over the line with a steady unbeaten 19-ball 22.

Who set the tone for Pakistan’s innings?

Babar Azam.

The Pakistan captain stroked his 25th T20I half-century and paved the way for the team’s strong start after they were put in to bat. Yet again, in the company of Mohammad Rizwan, Babar stitched a strong opening stand, scoring 67 runs in only 7.4 overs. The duo had taken a quintessentially measured approach before Babar broke free in the fourth over, creaming Nathan Ellis for three successive boundaries.

With 56 runs in the powerplay, it was Pakistan’s highest total in the first six overs of a T20I against Australia.

How did Australia fight back?

Cameron Green struck twice in two balls in his opening over. The medium pacer first had Rizwan playing early to a slow delivery and getting knocked over before Fakhar Zaman failed to clear the in-field and was caught at mid on in his attempt to attack the bowler off the first ball.

What about Babar?

The Pakistan captain continued to play in a measured manner and took advantage of the scoring opportunities, but there was no real push to put Australia on the backfoot. Eventually, in the 16th over, he was lured by Adam Zampa and his attempt to hit him over the offside field ended up in the hands of the deep extra cover fielder.

What happened after his fall?

Nathan Ellis was all over Pakistan’s middle and lower middle order. The pacer snapped the wickets of Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Shaheen Afridi – the latter two off successive deliveries. From the other end, however, Pakistan continued to score briskly to reach 162.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 162/8 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Khushdil Shah 24; Nathan Ellis 4-28, Chris Green 2-16) lost to Australia 163/7 in 19.1 overs (Aaron Finch 55, Travis Head 26; Shaheen Afridi 2-21, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-30) by 3 wickets

Updated: April 6, 2022 — 2:52 pm

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