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Brilliant Smith guides Australia to comfortable win

AFP/Canberra
Filed on November 5, 2019
Steve Smith (right) of Australia shakes hands with Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan after the match (AFP)

It put them 1-0 up after the opening match in Sydney on Sunday was abandoned due to rain. The final game is in Perth on Friday

Master batsman Steve Smith stroked a faultless unbeaten 80 as Australia edged Pakistan by seven wickets in Canberra to go 1-0 up in their three-match Twenty20 series.

Top-ranked Pakistan set a competitive 150 for six off their 20 overs, with skipper Babar Azam hitting his second consecutive half-century and Iftikhar Ahmed clubbing a quickfire 62.

But their bowling attack was no match for Smith, who brought up his fourth 50 in the short format off 36 balls, with six fours and one big six, as Australia reached 151 for three with nine balls to spare.

It put them 1-0 up after the opening match in Sydney on Sunday was abandoned due to rain. The final game is in Perth on Friday.

"Very pleasing. I thought we were pretty good all day," said skipper Aaron Finch. "To get wickets consistently was key. Everyone is playing their roles really well, and we've got guys like Steve, who does what he does best."

Australia is on a hot T20 streak, having not been beaten in their last seven matches.

"Credit goes to Smith," said Azam. "He took the game away with a magnificent innings. We are very disappointed. We didn't bat well in the powerplay."

David Warner had been in fantastic touch after scoring 219 without losing his wicket in four previous innings, and he ominously smashed 16 off Imad Wasim's opening over. However, the explosive opener was clean bowled by Mohammad Amir for 20, missing a drive, and when Finch fell for 17 to veteran seamer Mohammad Irfan, Pakistan's hopes were up.

But with Smith at the wicket, it was never going to be easy and the experienced campaigner picked the gaps and found the boundary ropes with sweetly timed shots, while grabbing quick singles.

SCOREBOARD

Pakistan

F. Zaman c Warner b Cummins 2

B. Azam run out (Warner) 50

H. Sohail c & b Richardson 6

M. Rizwan st Carey b Agar 14

A. Ali c Cummins b Agar 4

I. Ahmed not out 62

I. Wasim run out (Smith) 11

W. Riaz not out 0

Extras (lb1) 1

Total (six wickets, 20 overs) 150

Did not bat: Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Zaman), 2-29 (Sohail), 3-62 (Rizwan), 4-70 (Asif), 5-106 (Azam), 146-6 Wasim

Bowling: Starc 4-0-25-0, Richardson 4-0-51-1, Cummins 4-0-19-1, Zampa 4-0-31-0, Agar 4-0-23-2

Australia

A. Finch c Azam b Irfan 17

D. Warner b Amir 20

S. Smith not out 80

B. McDermott lbw Wasim 21

A. Turner not out 8

Extras: (nb2, w3) 5

Total (three wkts, 18.3 overs) 151

Did not bat: Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Warner), 2-48 (Finch), 3-106 (McDermott)

Bowling: Irfan 4-0-27-1, Amir 3.3-0-32-1, Wasim 4-0-34-1, Shadab 4-0-25-0, Riaz 3-0-32-0.

 


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