Pak vs Aus 1st ODI: Australia Romp to Victory Against Pakistan

Pak vs Aus 1st ODI: Australia Romp to Victory Against Pakistan
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The first match of the ODI series between Pakistan and Australia proved to be a walk in the park for a solid Australian team as they cantered to victory with ease and grace.

Match Report

One day cricket resumed at the record-breaking Sharjah Cricket Ground as Pakistan took on Australia in the first ODI. Pakistan’s stand-in captain, Shoaib Malik decided to set a target for Australia to chase.

1st Innings – Pak’s Trademark Cautious Approach

In this modern day and age, Pakistan is still sticking to its traditional approach of a cautious start. In Imam-ul-Haq and debutant Shan Masood, Pakistan has two not-so-aggressive openers, meaning that a fiery start will be a rarity this series.

Imam gave a dolly to Nathan Lyon off his own bowling to leave Pakistan one down for 35 in the 9th over. Masood played a decent knock of 40 off 62 before he fell to Nathan Coulter-Nile.

The Stand Between Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal

Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal, who made his comeback to international cricket after 2 years, started to stabilize the innings. Akmal’s impressive strike rate meant that Pakistan wasn’t going too bad as he scored 48 off 50 deliveries.

The right and left-hand combination worked for Pakistan as the pair added 98 for the 3rd wicket.

Sohail’s partners changed at the other end as he went on to score his maiden ODI century (101* from 115). Perhaps, his innings was a little too slow for a Sharjah pitch.

Pakistan ended with 280/5 thanks to a cameo from Imad Wasim who struck 28 runs at a strike rate of 215.38.

2nd Innings – The Marathon Partnership Between Finch and Marsh

Australian openers provided a solid start before Usman Khawaja top-edged Faheem Ashraf’s first ball to take the long walk back to the pavilion at 63/1.

Despite the breakthrough, Pakistan didn’t look like getting anywhere near making inroads as Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh kept scoring at will. The duo added a massive 172, taking the game away from Pakistan. Aaron Finch knicked one to the wicket-keeper off the bowling of none other than his tormentor from test series, Mohammad Abbas. He got out for 116.

After this, it was all too easy for the Australians as they got over the line in the penultimate over. Shaun Marsh also starred with a brilliantly paced 91*. This marked Australia’s 4th win in a row.

Moment of the Match

Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik fell in quick succession to make it tough for the upcoming batsmen to score quickly at the later stages of the innings. One of these two power hitters should have stayed on the crease if Pakistan were to set a target above 300. Pakistan ended up 20-30 runs short.

Man of the Match

Aaron Finch was declared the Man of the Match for his impressive century.

Up Next

The second ODI of the series is scheduled on 24 March in Sharjah.

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