That's all from this match. Sharjah will host the second ODI as well. The match is on 24th March at 1500 local (1100 GMT). Do join us for all the action. Cheers!
Australia's skipper and the Man of the Match, Aaron Finch says that it was a daunting total but he feels the pitch played pretty well in the second innings. Praises Shaun Marsh for partnering him well and taking the pressure off him. Wants his side to do the process right and reckons that there is still room for improvement. Further mentions that they have taken all the criticism positively and have worked on their game.
Pakistan's skipper, Shoaib Malik says that the early strike was missing from them. Feels that 280 was a good score but he reckons that the way Finch and Marsh batted, they controlled the innings well and took it deep for the other batsmen to take over. Adds that he is disappointed but thinks they can improve. On Haris Sohail, Malik says that coming from an injury break and playing so well, it shows he has got the right kind of temperament and it's a great sign for Pakistan.
Pakistan's bowling was pretty ordinary. Right from the beginning they failed to create any pressure. Their spinners were supposed to pose big threat to the Aussie batsmen on this surface but that never happened. Imad Wasim and Yasir Shah didn't turn up with the ball as they were countered superbly by Finch and Marsh. Nothing much to write about their pacers. Mohammad Abbas bowled decently in his debut match but never looked threatening. To add to that, their fielding was also sloppy. Earlier in their batting innings, they fared nicely but lacked the desired push in the end overs. The kind of power-hitting that's required in today's cricket was certainly lacking and they have to work on this aspect as well.
Chasing a target of 281 on this tricky surface was never easy. But the way their openers batted and then the experienced heads of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, they never looked under any kind of pressure. The Aussie skipper seems to be finding his form at the right time as he stroked a fine century. Shaun also looked very impressive in his unbeaten knock of 91 and stayed there till the end to see the Aussies home along with Peter Handscomb.
Pakistan are beaten comprehensively. Australia have pulled out the second best run chase in Sharjah. The twin series win in India have given the defending champion a big boost. Their batting has improved by leaps and bounds. Putting in a neat chase is developing into a good habit for them. With four wins in a row now, they are peaking at the right time before the mega event.
M Amir to S Marsh, AUSTRALIA WIN BY 8 WICKETS! Amir delivers it full, on middle and leg, Marsh flicks it through mid-wicket and rushes back for the second run. The throw from the deep comes to the bowler's end but misses the stumps by a fair margin. That will be it, a very convincing win for Australia to take a series lead.
M Amir to S Marsh, EDGY FOUR! Slower bouncer from Amir, around middle, Marsh opens up in his stance to pull it over the leg side but it takes the top edge and flies over the keeper for a boundary. Two more needed.
M Amir to P Handscomb, Shortish in length outside off, slower in pace, Handscomb smashes it towards extra cover and scampers across to the other end. The fielder has a shy at the bowler's end but misses.
M Amir to S Marsh, A dipping full toss around leg, Marsh clips it through mid-wicket and runs the first run hard. Wants the second run as well but Malik is quickly to the ball in the deep.
M Amir to P Handscomb, Too full in length just outside off, Handscomb moves across the stumps and eases it behind square leg for a run.
M Amir to S Marsh, Short in length and outside off, Marsh is early into his shot and hence mistimes it in the air over mid off. It falls safely in the deep and a single results.
END OF OVER: 48 | 8 Runs 0 Wkt | AUS: 271/2
Mohammad Amir to bowl the penultimate over which very well could be the last one.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, Full toss on leg, Shaun fails to put it away. He swings his bat across the line but hits it as far as the mid-wicket fielder in the deep. A single taken. 10 more needed.
F Ashraf to P Handscomb, Ashraf keeps it straight, Peter punches it to extra cover for one.
Fine leg and third man up. The line has to be very straight from Faheem Ashraf.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, Makes space to a full ball on off and drills it down to long off for a run. 12 off 14 needed.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, Wide! Slips a full ball down the leg side, Shaun tries flicking but misses. The keeper collects the ball and is shocked that it has been called a wide. Was there some noise of the ball clipping Marsh's pads? Well, the replays find nothing.
F Ashraf to P Handscomb, Once again follows the batsman and serves a full toss this time, Peter drives it through covers and picks up a single.
F Ashraf to P Handscomb, Follows the batsman down the leg side with a shortish length ball, Handscomb still manages to work it through mid-wicket. Has played it with soft hands and hence gets a couple.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, Too full in length on leg, Marsh whips it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
END OF OVER: 47 | 6 Runs 0 Wkt | AUS: 263/2
M Abbas to P Handscomb, A slower one, short and on off, Peter cuts it pretty well but finds the point fielder. 18 off 18!
M Abbas to P Handscomb, Fuller in length and outside off, Handscomb heaves it over mid-wicket and collects another couple of runs.