Qantas Tour of Zimbabwe
Fakhar fires to sink lacklustre Aussies
Pakistan opener's 42-ball 73 consigns Australia to first defeat of T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe
Aaron Pereira at Harare Sports Club
5 July 2018, 11:59 PM AEST
The result: Pakistan 7-194 (Fakhar 73, Talat 30, Asif 37 not out Tye 3-35) defeated Australia 7-149 (Carey 37 not out, Afridi 3-37) by 45 runs.
The match in a tweet: With the No.1 T20 ranking up for grabs, Australia falter after two dominant wins with Pakistan proving too good in Harare #AUSvPAK
The bounce back: Just three days after Pakistan managed just four sixes against a rampant Australia earlier this week, they came out with a point to prove after being sent in to bat on Thursday, smashing nine maximums on the small Harare Sports Club ground. Their middle order, comprising of Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali combined for 64 from just 33 balls just as Australia threatened again to steamroll Pakistan, posting an eventually unreachable 7-194 from their 20 overs.
The partnership: Australia were pushed for the first time this tournament, as Fakhar Zaman and Hussain Talat combined for 72 runs after Haris Sohail was dismissed for a golden duck. The two contributed 12 fours and four sixes, opting to attack the frontline quicks. Finch turned to Ashton Agar (0-27 off two overs) and Glenn Maxwell (1-30, three overs) to quell the run flow, and after some early punishment, Maxwell finally broke the stand paving the way for the quicks to return.
The teenage speedster: It was quite the breakthrough for Shaheen Afridi in just his second international game, claiming Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short for his first scalps at this level. He caught the inside edge of Finch to have him caught behind before troubling Maxwell and eventually forcing a false shot to trap the big-hitter in front for his second. The left-armer then completed his haul when he sent Short's stumps cartwheeling. If today’s effort is anything to go by, Pakistan have the makings of yet another world-class quick in their artillery.
The rare miss: Aaron Finch’s 16 today against Pakistan was the first time he’d been dismissed for less than 84 in T20 cricket in 2018. The Australia captain’s scintillating form, which has seen him post 414 runs in seven attempts, carried Australia to a pair of wins almost single-handedly in Harare, but was squared up by Afridi, exiting in the fifth over and leaving Australia’s middle-order with a mountain of work to do.
Tye-Riffic bowling: Australia’s short-form specialist Andrew Tye again took three wickets, taking his tally to nine from a trio of matches in Harare. The West Australian sits atop the world’s leading T20 wicket-takers in 2018, with 22 scalps from ten matches, seven more than the next best in Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. Tye’s variation in the middle and death overs has proved pivotal in Australia’s resurgence in the shortest format.
Something is a bit different about @aj191 this morning...🤔🙎🏻♂️🧔🏻 pic.twitter.com/ciak93xO3N— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) July 5, 2018
The next stop: Having missed the chance to usurp Pakistan atop the ICC's T20 team rankings, Australia face Zimbabwe in their final group match tomorrow before once again meeting Pakistan in Sunday’s T20 Tri-Series final.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), D'Arcy Short, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake #AUSvPAK— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) July 5, 2018
Pakistan XI: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi #AUSvPAK— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) July 5, 2018
Qantas Tour of Zimbabwe
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sahibzada Farhan.
Zimbabwe squad: Hamilton Masakadza (c), Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Tarisai Musakanda, Malcolm Waller, PJ Moor, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Chris Mpofu, Ryan Burl, Solomon Mire, Wellington Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Ryan Murray
July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 8: Final