Imperious Smith gives Australia series lead over Pakistan

Tanya Simon
November 8, 2019

After being rescued by rain from what appeared to be a certain defeat in the first T20I, Pakistan will be hoping to put up a convincing show when they meet Australia in Canberra's Manuka Oval stadium on Tuesday.

The decision to rest Cummins may well open the way for Sean Abbott to play his first global in more than five years, as Australia look for a victory at Perth Stadium on Friday evening to close out an unbeaten six matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, where so far only Sydney rain and arcane playing conditions have prevented a clean sweep. As we came home (around midnight in Detroit, Michigan, USA) the Pakistan vs Australia T20 game was getting underway.

But their bowling attack was no match for Smith, who brought up his fourth 50 in the short format off 36 balls, with six fours and one big six, as Australia reached 151 for three with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, a majestic 38-ball 59 from newly-appointed skipper Babar Azam helped Pakistan post 107-5 in 15 overs.

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"Credit goes to Smith", said Azam. He hit three boundaries on the off side in an Amir over as Australia eased to victory in the 19th over.

Earlier, it was a late blitz by Iftikhar Ahmed, at No.6, that lifted Pakistan past 150. "I guess you have to bear in mind ... early in my career I was batting No. 8 or 9, coming in and slogging, facing half a dozen balls tops". The way we kept taking wickets throughout the innings was really important because we know how damaging Pakistan can be in the powerplay or at the end so to get wickets consistently I think was the key to the day. "They bowled beautifully. Then it was just about timing the run and fortunately I was able to do that tonight". "He took the game away with a magnificent innings". It's very hard when we lose early wickets.

Opener Fakhar Zaman's (2) poor form continued as the left-hander sliced Pat Cummins to a diving Warner at mid-off in the third over and Haris Sohail (6) couldn't adjust to Richardson's pace and top-edged a pull shot. The third T20I can be performed on November eight whereas the two-match Check sequence will begin from November 21.

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