Australia overcome Pakistan in Perth

Thursday January 19, 2017

Australia has defeated Pakistan by seven wickets to win the third One-Day International match played at the WACA Ground in Perth today.

Pakistan paceman Junaid Khan bowling to Australian ODI debutant Peter Handscomb.

The Australians chased down the 264-run target with five overs to spare, finishing 3-265, courtesy of the batting prowess of skipper Steve Smith (108no) and debutant Peter Handscomb (82).

With the hosts teetering on 2-45 in the 10th over, Smith and Handscomb combined to guide their side towards the target with a 183-run third wicket partnership.

David Warner ensured the run chase began briskly as he raced to 35, while fellow opener Usman Khawaja consolidated at the other end though was only able to score nine.

Handscomb was fortunate to survive several offerings during his first ODI innings – caught in the slips off a no ball, dropped at point by Mohammad Nawaz and almost played the ball back onto his stumps least twice from inside edge glances.

Smith meanwhile became the fastest Australian to 3000 ODI career runs, reaching the milestone in his 79th innings, one ahead of Michael Bevan and George Bailey (80).

The skipper then went on to raise his bat for his second WACA century, while Travis Head hit the winning runs with a neatly-timed mid-off drive in the 45th over.

Handscomb’s attempt to be the 13th ODI player to score a century on debut fell short in the 40th over when he was caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan, who took all three catches today.

Mohammad Amir was the best of the Pakistani bowlers. He finished with impressive figures of 1-36 from 10 overs, having picked up Khawaja early.

Earlier, Pakistan batted first having been sent in by Australia and finished with 7-263 off their 50 overs.

Babar Azam top scored with 84 and, in his 21st at bat, became the fastest Pakistani batsman to reach 1000 ODI career runs and equal-fifth overall when he reached 47.

Sharjeel Khan made his own brisk start and scored 20 runs off Stanlake in the fourth over.

The young Australian quick though responded with a maiden in his next over and later claimed Shoaib Malik’s wicket caught behind after the veteran middle-order batsman had scored a quick-fire 39 off 41 balls.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers, finishing with 3-32 off his 10 overs.

With Mitchell Starc rested for this match, Hazlewood spearheaded the bowling line-up and took the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam and Umar Akmal.

Next match of the series is on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground where either the Australians will wrap up the five-match series with a game to play or Pakistan will level it again and set up an Adelaide decider next Thursday.

2016/17 One-Day International Series – Match Three:

Pakistan 7-263 (50 overs)
Babar Azam 84, Shoaib Malik 39, Umar Akmal 39, Hazlewood 3-32, Head 2-65

Australia 3-265 (45 overs)
Smith 112no, Handscomb 82, Warner 35, Mohammad Amir 1-36, Hasan Ali 1-62

Match Result: Australia won by seven wickets
Player of the Match: Steve Smith (Australia)

Toss: Australia, batted first
Umpires: Simon Fry (Aus), Chettithody Shamshuddin (Ind)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)
Venue: WACA Ground, Perth
Crowd: 15,383.

Australia: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith (c), Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Wade (wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Billy Stanlake.

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.