Brilliant Smith guides Australia to comfortable win
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.
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
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.
Five-day Test matches could become a thing of the past from 2023 as... READ MORE
Arsenal's poor form led to the dismissal of their Spanish manager... READ MORE
The right-arm pacer has so far represented India in 12 Tests, 58 ODIs ... READ MORE
Sharapova has not played since a first-round loss to career-long... READ MORE
Hundreds of thousands of spectators witnessed the 13-minute long... READ MORE
ITC, Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority launch new bus service. READ MORE
The Quadrantids can shower around 50 to 100 meteors in an hour. READ MORE
Airport Security Force contingents were called to calm angry... READ MORE