Dubai: Pakistan recorded a clean 3-0 sweep over Australia with an impressive 33-run win in the third and final Twenty20 International match of the series at the Dubai International Stadium.
Australia's top-order batting once again crumbled before Pakistan’s tight bowling attack.
Pakistan had won the first T20 match of the series by 66 runs in Abu Dhabi and the second match by 11 runs. Australian batsmen had failed repeatedly in this series.
Pakistan posted 150 for 5 in 20 overs riding on a fine 93 runs opening partnership through opener Babar Azam’s 50 which came off 40 balls with five boundaries and a six and Sahibzada Farhan’s 39 runs off 38 balls with two boundaries and three sixes. Mohammad Hafeez remained unbeaten on 32 off 20 balls with three boundaries and a six.
Australians did well to restrict the run flow despite the brilliant start but could muster only 117 runs in 19.1 overs. Leg spinner Shadab Khan destroyed Australia’s hopes of a consolation win in the last match by taking three wickets for 19 runs.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. Azam opened with Farhan, who was playing only in his second T20 International. Azam hit the first six of the match through an upper cut over third man off Nathan Coulter-Nile. Farhan too hit a straight six off Nathan Lyon. He also hit Andrew Tye for another six, over long on, to bring in the fifty runs partnership in just six overs.
Australia introduced double spin attack by bring in left-arm spinner D’ Arcy Short and leg spinner Adam Zampa. Azam reached his seventh T20 half century in 39 balls.
Pakistan lost their first wicket in the 13th over when Lyon had Farhan caught by Tye at the long-off fence for 39. The pair put on 93 runs in 12.5 overs. Azam too followed getting a thick inside edge on to his leg stump off Tye for 50.
The experienced Hafeez and Shoaib Malek took charge. Hafeez hit Short over long-off for a six and by the 15th over Pakistan were 111 for 2. Malek played a cracking boundary off Zampa past long-off in the 17th over but perished to the next ball, caught by Finch for 18. Hafeez hit Tye for two consecutive boundaries in the 18th over . Asif Ali on 4 lifted Mitchell Marsh but Coulter-Nile took a brilliant leaping catch at long on boundary. In the same over, Marsh had Faheem Ashraf caught by Tye off a pull shot for a duck.
In the last over from Tye, Imad Wasim and Hafeez could manage only five runs but ensured Pakistan reach 150 run mark.
Australia chased the score through Aaron Finch and Alex Carey. Hitting two sixes off the first over from Wasim, Carey scored 20 runs in the first over. Ashraf got rid of Finch with the fifth ball of the second over , forcing him to hit to Hafeez at mid-off for 1. Hafeez, who bowled the third over, removed Carey for 20 by forcing him to offer an easy catch to Ashraf at short mid-wicket.
Chris Lynn on 13 got dropped by Hasan Ali off Wasim when Australia were 53 for 2 but added only two more runs before slog sweeping Shadab Khan to Ashraf. In the same over, Ben McDermott, who was stroking well, ran himself out for the third time in succession in this series for 21 by playing to Azam at cover. At the half mark, Australia were 75 for 4 with Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh at the crease and needing another 76 runs to win in the last ten overs.
Maxwell lifted Shadab into the hands of Malek at long-on boundary for 4 off the first ball of the 11th over. Shadab dropped Short off his own bowling for a duck. In the 15th over Shadab made Marsh on 21 drive in the air into the hands of Malek at long-on. Short too followed by pulling Usman Khan to Malek for 10. To make matters easy for Pakistan, Coulter-Nile got run out for a duck to gift the match easily to Pakistan.
Pakistan bt Australia by 33 runs. Pakistan 150 for 5 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 50, Sahibzada Farhan 39, Mohammad Hafeez 32, Mitchell Marsh 2 for 6) Australia 117 in 19.1 overs (Alex Carey 20, Ben McDermott 21, Mitchell Marsh 21, Shadab Khan 3 for 19, Hasan Ali 2 for 14)