Pakistan vs Australia: Babar, Imam seal series
Skipper Babar Azam smashed his second successive hundred as Pakistan thrashed Australia by nine wickets in the final ODI to claim a 2-1 series victory on Saturday.
The foundation of the win was laid by Pakistan’s fiery pace trio of Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim and Shaheen Afridi who bundled out Australia for 210 inside 42 overs.
Babar smashed an unbeaten 105 and opener Imam-ul Haq made 89 not out as they made light work of the meagre chase to guide Pakistan home with 12.2 overs to spare.
Australia, put into bat, got off to a horror start when they slumped to six for three. Shaheen (2/40) removed in-form Travis Head with the first ball of the match before Haris (3/39) dismissed Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne in quick succession.
Alex Carey (56) top-scored for the visitors and Ben McDermott (36), Sean Abbott (49) and Cameron Green (34) helped them pass the 200-mark but the Australia bowlers had little to defend.
Nathan Ellis removed Fakhar Zaman for 17 but Imam and Babar ensured there was no dramatic batting collapse that would allow Australia back into the contest.
Babar, who forged an unbroken 190-run partnership with Imam, hit 12 boundaries in his 16th ODI century.
“We didn’t get enough runs. When you go three down in the first few overs, it’s always going to be hard to get a total,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.
“But I thought our guys fought really hard. With the ball in hand, we tried a lot of different things but two class guys put on a superb effort tonight. We just wanted to keep being attacking and aggressive through the whole (first) innings.
“Travis and Ben played really well throughout the series. I think with the ball, Nathan Ellis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Adam Zampa bowled excellent throughout all three games, ” Finch said.
Brief scores: Australia 210 (Carey 56, Abbott 49, Rauf 3/39, Wasim 3/40). Pakistan 214/1 (Babar 105, Imam 89 n.o.). Pakistan won by nine wickets.