Thus, that is all from the Sharjah leg in this 5-match ODI series. The two teams now head to Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi for the 3rd ODI which will be on the 27th of March, Wednesday. That game will begin at 1500 local (1100 GMT). Make sure you join for that one to find out whether Pakistan can keep the series alive or not. Till then, take care and cheers. Goodbye!
Aaron Finch, the Man of the match and the Aussie skipper says that it was important for set batsmen to continue batting once they were in. He informs that he did not want to take a risk against Imad Wasim and looked to play him out. Praises Usman Khawaja and says he is very happy for him as he is scoring big runs. Reckons that it is a learning curve for all the players with a big few months coming up. Exits by mentioning that Jhye Richardson is in good spirits and it is an unfortunate shoulder dislocation. Hopes he will be fit soon.
Shoaib Malik says that they needed early strikes. He looks at the positive of taking the game till the end. Feels that youngsters are being groomed and such matches will happen as they are testing the bench strength. Praises Mohammad Rizwan for scoring runs against a big team and mentions he is a special talent. Considers that such things happen in cricket when you try different stuff with your team combination. Does not forget to applaud Aaron Finch for his magnificent 150 and says it is difficult to win when an opener scores so many in a chase of 280 odd. Signs off by saying that the goal is not about winning the series or anything but to give the bench strength a test and to give opportunity to everyone to play.
Usman Khawaja says that the partnership with Aaron Finch was great. He said that he tried to keep it aggresive in the beginning when his partner was struggling a bit. Applauds Finch for an amazing knock of more than 150. He mentions that he has always been strong off his wrists. Informs us that he is happy as is his side to win against a strong side like Pakistan. States that he enjoys playing at this ground and coming from Indian conditions, has helped him adjust.
Earlier in the evening, it was the hosts who won the toss and elected to bat. They did recover well after being 4 down before the halfway mark but they could not post a par-300 total in the end that was required. Rizwan got his maiden ODI ton as well but that was never going to be enough on this Sharjah surface which became better for batting in the end. Stay tuned for the presentations but before that Usman Khawaja with an interview on the sidelines.
Coming to the bowling, it was looking flat and fell on their face against the willows of Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja. They seemed to run out of ideas and no one even looked like picking a wicket, barring Md. Hasnain for a few overs. Shoaib Malik and co. will have to seriously go back and have a look at their bowling combination if they are to make a comeback in this series.
This has been one stroll in the park! The Aussies have batted with ease and grace, winning the match comfortably by 8 wickets and more than 2 overs left in the end. It was a risk-free run chase and belonged to one man especially. The skipper, Aaron Finch made his 13th ODI ton and finished off with a massive 153 not out in the end. It included 6 sixes as well. The 209-run opening stand meant there was only going to be one winner. In fact, only 2 wickets were lost and one was a run out. The bowlers felt a little helpless.
F Ashraf to A Finch, Leg Byes! That is it! Two runs taken but it does not matter how they come! On a length, Finch goes for the flick but misses and the ball hits his pads and goes through square leg for the winning runs. AUSTRALIA WIN BY 8 WICKETS!! Once more! And take a 2-0 lead in the series.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, On a length outside off, Marsh pats it down near the surface for a single. Only two needed now.
F Ashraf to A Finch, On a length and patted down to long on for a single by the Aussie skipper.
F Ashraf to A Finch, FOUR! Yes, he can! This is getting over soon! On the hips and Finch turns it away through deep backward square leg for a boundary. Gets to his 150 as well! Stand up and applaud this guy wherever you are. This has been a classic!
F Ashraf to A Finch, SIX! That has completely killed any hopes that Pakistan might have had left in the game. A fuller length ball from Faheem on middle and Finch smashes it right back over his head for a maximum. 148 now!
END OF OVER: 47 | 11 Runs 0 Wkt | AUS: 271/2
M Hasnain to A Finch, Another run out chance missed here by the fielder! Finch goes back on this length ball and punches it covers and takes off. He was quick to start the run but was nowhere close to the crease when the throw went past the non striker's stumps. Had he hit, Finch would have been out but it is way too late for them to get him out. He has already done the job for his side and has survived this run out chance as well. Would like to finish unbeaten at the end of the innings and with a 150 for himself. Can he get there?
M Hasnain to S Marsh, Full and outside off, Marsh drives it superbly through the covers for a single.
M Hasnain to A Finch, Fuller this time on middle, Finch punches it down the ground for a single.
M Hasnain to A Finch, SIX! OUT OF THE PARK! Another short ball this time to Finch who gets it off the meat of the bat and sends it sailing over deep mid-wicket for a biggie. That makes the equation a lot easier now.
M Hasnain to S Marsh, Short ball to Marsh, he pulls it hard to short mid-wicket and takes a quick run.
M Hasnain to A Finch, Thats a beauty from Hasnain! He bowls a yorker to Finch who gets his bat down at the right time and the ball takes the inside half of the bat and goes fine on the on side for a single.
END OF OVER: 46 | 5 Runs 0 Wkt | AUS: 260/2
F Ashraf to A Finch, Driven through mid on for a single. 5 runs off this over. 25 in 24 needed now.
F Ashraf to A Finch, Just short! Well saved by Yasir in the deep. A length ball on middle and Shah at deep mid-wicket comes running in to take that catch. He does not reach the ball and stops it at 2 runs.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, In the air... and safe! A length ball, Marsh looks to pull it. The ball hits the shoulder off the bat and goes up in the air. Falls near the vacant mid on region.Very lucky from Australia's point of view. A wicket would have been some panic for them.
F Ashraf to S Marsh, Good bowling! Only 1 run off the 3 balls so far. A length ball outside off, Marsh looks to pull but fails to time it at all.
F Ashraf to A Finch, Hit slightly in the air towards mid-wicket and a quick single is taken. The pitch is becoming really slow here, this ball stuck in it and came.