Australia defeat Pakistan in 3rd T20I
Dubai: Australia defeated Pakistan in the third and final T20I on Monday night to salvage some pride even though they lost the series 1-2.
Openers David Warner and Shane Watson smashed a century opening stand and led Australia to a commanding 94-run victory over Pakistan in the third and final Twenty20 match on Monday.
Warner hit 59 off 34 balls and Watson was equally aggressive in scoring 47 in Australia`s impressive score of 168-7. Pakistan, who won the series 2-1, stumbled in their run-chase at 36-6 before being bowled out for 74 in 19.1 overs.
It was Pakistan`s heaviest ever defeat in Twenty20s while consolation for Australia before World Twenty20 begins in Sri Lanka next week as it slipped No. 10 in world rankings after losing the opening two matches against Pakistan.
Pakistan were out of reckoning once the top order crumbled, with seamers Mitchell Starc (3-11) and Patrick Cummins (3-15) taking the bowling honours.
Pakistan - famous for their nervy run-chases - never got a kick start as Cummins and Starc swung the ball appreciably under lights at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
"David and Shane set up an awesome foundation for us and our bowlers backed it up, they were terrific," Australian captain George Bailey said. "We certainly do (have a chance in the World Twenty20). It is about harnessing our talent."
Cummins got rid of skipper Mohammad Hafeez and former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik in one over while Starc removed Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal.
Umar Akmal was splendidly caught in the deep by a running Michael Hussey and when top scorer Nasir Jamshed (17) was caught by Bailey Pakistan stumbled to 36-6 in the 10th over. Yasir Arafat (15) and Abdul Razzaq (13) delayed the inevitable before Starc and Cummins mopped up the tail.
"This is a wake-up call for some of us for the mega event, we have to play our roles according to the situation," Hafeez said. "My team was exceptional in the series, unfortunately we could not do well today. Warner and Watson came out with a plan and attacked the specialist bowlers."
Earlier, after being sent in to bat both Warner and Watson batted aggressively against Pakistan`s spinners, who had caused trouble for the Australian batsmen in the previous two losses.
Warner hit six sixes and a four and Watson hammered five sixes and a boundary in an electrifying 111-run first wicket stand - the best Australian partnership for any wicket in the shortest format of the game.
Warner`s best shot came against ace offspinner Saeed Ajmal when the left-hander smacked a switch hit for a big six. Watson was equally good when he lofted offspinner Shoaib Malik for three sixes in an over.
Seamer Arafat (2-30), playing his first match of the series, got rid of both openers in his successive overs and Ajmal stemmed the flow of runs with some tidy bowling.
Watson misread a slow bouncer and was caught at short fine leg and Warner gave a skier to Mohammad Hafeez.
Australia lost a flurry of wickets in order to keep up the scoring tempo, with Ajmal sneaking in two wickets for 19 runs after leaking 15 in his second over to Warner and Watson.
Pakistan brought in allrounder Arafat in place of left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir.
Australia also made one change after losing the second game in a one-over eliminator, with allrounder Glenn Maxwell replacing David Hussey.
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