Australia in Pakistan, 3 ODI Series, 2022 |2nd ODI |3/31/2022 Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
That concludes the proceedings for this high-scoring match. Yet again it will be a quick turnaround and after a break of one day, Pakistan will cross swords with Australia in the decider on Saturday, 2nd April 2022. The action will begin at 3.30 pm IST (10 am GMT), but you can tune in early for the build-up. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
Babar Azam, the winning skipper of Pakistan, is also the Player of the Match! Says that they planned to play positive and form partnerships. Calls the stand between Imam and Fakhar outstanding. Admits that they could have bowled well but they gave away too many runs in the middle overs. Wants to improve on this aspect in the next ODI. He is very proud to get a hundred in front of his home fans. States that they believed that they can chase this down. Reminds that they didn't chase it down in the last match and he is pleased that they crossed the line this evening.
Aaron Finch, the captain of Australia, says that the opening stand for Pakistan set the foundation and Babar also played an unbelievable knock. Tells that 348 is a good total but probably it was not for today. Mentions that it was a beautiful one-day wicket. Adds that they bowled well and he feels that when Pakistan took the risk while batting, it paid off for them which can happen in ODI cricket with only four fielders allowed outside the ring.
Imam-ul-Haq (106) comes up for a quick chat. The Pakistan opener says this he knows his game and just follows the process. Tells that he has worked hard for this and thanks the Almighty and his parents. Feels that it is all about self-belief and they knew they could chase it down. Mentions that they were lucky in this match. Adds that there's always room for improvement and says that in white-ball cricket if one gets set then the runs come easily. Says that everyone knows about his and Babar's friendship and they know each other's weaknesses and strengths and they have played a lot of cricket together. Tells that they really needed that win for the team. Further adds that Australia are a very good batting and fielding side so they wanted to come out on the right side of the result this evening. Ends by saying that they want to win on Saturday and will be working towards that.
Stay tuned for all the interviews...
Early in the evening, Australia improved their batting from the last match. The loopholes that were visible in the first ODI were plugged although there is still some room for improvement as far as their batting in the last 10 overs is concerned. Anyway, the intent shown by the young guns, Travis Head and Ben McDermott, was incredible, especially in the middle overs and that propelled Australia to a big total. After losing the plot in the initial phase of Powerplay 3, they recovered through the impressive hitting from Marcus Stoinis and Sean Abbott, and that handed the Aussies a score close to 350 but in the end, even that proved to be inadequate.
Australia didn't do a lot wrong with their bowling efforts. Imam was dropped on 25 by Ben McDermott but that honestly was a very tough chance. After that, it was majorly a chanceless knock from all the Pakistan batters. You can just say that the Aussie bowlers were countered with discipline and positive intent from the home team. Pakistan's top four premier batters contributed to the cause with Imam and Babar getting to their hundreds. Khushdil's knock when it got close can be counted as yet another positive.
Chasing a mammoth target, the Pakistan openers camped in and built a great platform. Both Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq were slow to get off the blocks but soon found the rhythm and never allowed the required rate to climb up during their century partnership. A magical delivery from Marcus Stoinis provided Australia with the first breakthrough but that was followed by yet another century stand - between Imam and Babar Azam. The best part of Pakistan's chase was they were always near the required rate, and not even once did it climb to 8 or beyond till the 46th over. Things got close due to the fall of Rizwan's wicket and some fine death bowling by the Aussies but eventually, Khushdil's cameo took them home.
A nervy finish for the home team but they have crossed the line, much to the delight of the Lahore crowd. A well-planned chase from Pakistan! It was a mountain of a target in front of them but they conquered it, in the end, to register their highest successful chase in ODIs! Babar Azam had planned the same in the first ODI also and took a lot of criticism but he showed this evening that his decision to bowl first in the first ODI wasn't the wrong one, it's just that they lacked in the execution part. The series is now back to level terms with all to play for on Saturday!
Nathan Ellis to Iftikhar Ahmed, FOUR! Iftikhar Ahmed finishes things off in style! What a chase from Pakistan - their best in ODIs! Also, their first win against Australia in ODIs since 2017 to end the 10-match losing streak. Full and on middle, Iftikhar Ahmed clears his front leg and lofts it over the bowler's head for a boundary. Pakistan win by 6 wickets!
Nathan Ellis to Khushdil Shah, Scores level! Full and on off, Khushdil Shah makes room and pushes it to mid on for a single.
Nathan Ellis to Khushdil Shah, SIX! Wonderful stuff! In the slot outside off, Khushdil Shah stands tall and launches it with disdain over long on for a biggie. A 101-metre hit! This is some batting from the power-hitter. Just 2 required now!
Nathan Ellis to Khushdil Shah, FOUR! Easily done! A freebie from Nathan Ellis. Serves a full toss, outside off and Khushdil Shah sticks his bat out and slaps it over covers for a boundary.
Nathan Ellis to Iftikhar Ahmed, Length ball, leg-lined. Iftikhar Ahmed helps it on its way to fine leg but there is a fielder there. Will only get a single.
Nathan Ellis to Iftikhar Ahmed, Slower ball, full and outside off, Iftikhar Ahmed drives it through covers for a couple of runs. 13 needed off 11!
END OF OVER 48 | 12 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 334/4
Sean Abbott to Khushdil Shah, A good yorker, on leg, Khushdil Shah jams it down. 15 needed from 12 balls!
Sean Abbott to Iftikhar Ahmed, Very full, tailing back in on off, Iftikhar Ahmed squeezes it out off the inner half of the bat to fine leg for a single.
Sean Abbott to Khushdil Shah, Full and on off, Khushdil Shah pushes it to long off for a single now.
Sean Abbott to Khushdil Shah, SIX! Pakistan are in cruise control now! This time pace on from Sean Abbott and it has gone miles over. Back of a length, outside off. Khushdil Shah swings across the line and powerfully hammers it over deep mid-wicket for a biggie. That made a cracking sound as it left the blade.
Sean Abbott to Khushdil Shah, FOUR! This is why Khushdil Shah has been promoted up the order. A pressure-releasing shot! Length ball, outside off. Khushdil Shah waits for it and tonks it straight over the bowler's head for a boundary.
Sean Abbott to Khushdil Shah, Swing and a miss! A good slower ball from Abbott, outside off. Khushdil Shah looks to smack it to the leg side but misses it altogether. Little tension is building in the Pakistan camp.
END OF OVER 47 | 4 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 322/4
Change in bowling. This game is getting close all of a sudden. Sean Abbott is back to bowl at the death.
Nathan Ellis to Khushdil Shah, Touch fuller, outside off. Khushdil Shah drives it to extra cover. Aaron Finch there misfields but quickly collects it back. The batters are happy with the single. 27 needed off 18 balls!