Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Imam, Babar hits centuries in record chase
Imam-ul Haq’s and Babar Azam’s century propelled Pakistan to a surprise victory in Lahore. They chased down the required 349 in 49 overs, setting a new record in Pakistan vs Australia ODI. Pakistan set the tone for an excellently-paced chase with partnerships of 118 and 111 for the first two wickets. Pakistan won by six wickets to tie the series at 1-1, despite Ben McDermott’s maiden ODI century. Pakistan won for the first time against Australia since 2017. It was also their most successful run chase in one-day internationals.
Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Pakistan’s strong start
Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq got off to a great start as runs flowed freely on a flat track, similar to the previous innings. When McDermott failed to take a difficult chance at midwicket, Imam was given life. The attack was maintained by Zaman and Imam, with the former reaching his fifty with a six. Marcus Stoinis, on the other hand, came back to break the tie after Zaman failed to select the slower ball and was knocked out for 67.
With a new growing stand that surged from strength to strength, Pakistan sailed above 200. Imam struck a hundred off 90 balls and Babar reached fifty before the former was caught in the deep by Labuschagne.
It was a chase of partnerships for Pakistan, as Mohammad Rizwan and Babar put on another 80-run standoff with only 61 balls. Australia deployed up to seven bowlers, but none of them were able to produce the incisions required to keep Pakistan’s scoring rate down.
Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Australia strikes back
Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Once Pakistan passed 300, Australia struck back with the wickets of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan. With 27 needed from the final three overs, Pakistan completed the chase with six balls to spare thanks to some powerful knocks from Khushdil Shah.
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After a 35-run combination with Iftikhar Ahmed off just 19 balls, Khushdil finished undefeated on 27 off 17. Pakistan took control of the middle overs with Azam’s 114 off 83 balls, which included 11 fours and a six.
Pakistan vs Australia ODI: The strong 1st innings by Australia
Earlier in the day, Australia had put on a great batting display. As they played their shots and stitched stands to pile on the runs, McDermott’s century and quick-fire cameos from other batters propelled them to a good total. Pakistan got off to the best possible start when Aaron Finch was caught leg-before by Shaheen Afridi with an inswinger on the first delivery of the encounter. Travis Head, a Centurion from the first match, teamed up with McDermott to put on a batting clinic.
The duo returned the attack to Pakistan’s bowlers, attacking everything with width and punishing lengths blunders. They not only stabilized the innings but also turned the game around. Both went on to score their respective fifties adding 162 in 144 balls for the second wicket.
Between overs 20 and 25, Pakistan took a step back, with Head falling just short of another well-deserved century for 89, top-edging a slog-sweep. Pakistan would have hoped to make a comeback with that wicket, but McDermott kept going with Marnus Labuschagne, seemingly unfazed. Iftikhar Ahmed proceeded to bowl into the McDermott’s arc on a flat pitch and was penalized, being dismissed for 38 runs in four overs.
Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Brief scores
Brief scores Pakistan vs Australia ODI: Australia 348/8 in 50 overs (Travis Head 89, Ben McDermott 104, Marnus Labuschagne 59, Marcus Stoinis 49, Sean Abbott 28; Shaheen Afridi 4-63, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-56) lost to Pakistan 352/4 in 49 overs (Fakhar Zaman 67, Imam-ul-Haq 106, Babar Azam 114; Adam Zampa 2-71) by 6 wickets.