It was another ruthless performance by Pakistan’s young guns as they crushed a hapless and chaotic Australia by 33 runs in the third Twenty20 international in Dubai on Sunday, registering their first ever whitewash against them in a limited over series.
Yet again opener Babar Azam batted well for a half century while leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished with three wickets to give Pakistan another dominating win.
Azam scored 40-ball 50 to lift Pakistan to another challenging 150-5 before Shadab’s 3-19 bowled Australia out for 117 in 19.1 overs at Dubai stadium.
This gives Pakistan their first-ever whitewash against Australia in a limited over series and tenth series win to Sarfraz Ahmed since he took over as captain in September 2016.
Pakistan exhibited an all round performance in the series and justified their world number one rankings in the shortest format, winning the first game by 66 runs in Abu Dhabi followed by 11-run win in the second, also in Dubai.
Despite having the services of big hitters, Australia were chaotic in their batting, bowled out for 89 in the first match.
Only Mitchell Marsh (21), Ben McDermott (21) and Alex Carey (20) looked like getting big scores but others fell apart against a varied Pakistan attack.
Carey, promoted to open the innings, hit two boundaries and as many sixes in Imad Wasim’s first over of the innings but they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Skipper Aaron Finch failed yet again, scoring only one while Chris Lynn (15) and Glenn Maxwell (four) were also well short on expectation.
Fast bowler Hasan Ali (2-14) was the other successful bowler.
Pakistan were lifted to their total by Babar Zaman’s 40-ball 50, Sahibzada Farhan’s 38-ball 39 and Mohammad Hafeez’s 20-ball 32 by Mohammad Hafeez, but once again they promised more but ended up lesser than 180.
Farhan, who was out for duck in the tri-series final against Australia in July this year, helped Babar give Pakistan a robust start of 74 runs in the first ten overs but the last ten overs could not give Pakistan an ideal finish.
Farhan smacked three sixes on his knock but he and Azam were dismissed in the space of just four runs. Their opening stand of 97 is the best against Australia in all Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan, beating 82 run stand between Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt at St Lucia in 2010.
Shoaib Malik made 18 and during the innings became the second highest run getter in Twenty20 cricket, beating Brendon McCullum of new Zealand’s 2140 in 71 games. Malik now has 2153 in 105 matches. Another New Zealander Martin Guptill is the top scorer with 2271 in 75 matches.
For Australia Mitchell Marsh took two wickets for just six runs in his only over.