Abid, Rizwan score century, but could not get Pakistan over the line

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Abid Ali scores century on his debut outing for Pakistan

Abid Ali and Mohammad Rizwan scored centuries, but failed to take their team to a target of 278 runs in their quota of 50 overs, losing the game by 6 runs eventually and going down in the series by 4-0.

Abid Ali made the most of an opportunity and scored a magnificent century showing great composure and shot selection in his inning, becoming the only third batsman after Saleem Elahi and Imam Ul Haq to make a ton on his first outing for Pakistan.

After losing Shan Masood for nought while chasing a target of 278, Abid Ali showed strong character, showing his vast stroke making, which impressed cricket fans as well as the commentators. He had a handy partnership with Haris Sohail of 74 runs, before the left-handed batsman fell after scoring 25 runs.

He joined hands with the wicket-keeper batsman, Mohammad Rizwan to keep Pakistan’s chase continue as they both dominated the Australian bowling attack.

Rizwan raised his half-century, whereas, Abid Ali went on to score the century off 110 balls. The debutant went on to score 112 runs off 119 deliveries before becoming the victim of the leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Pakistan were well on course towards their target, but after Abid Ali fell, the Men in Green lost two quick wickets in the shape of Umar Akmal and the other debutante, Saad Ali who scored 7 apiece. Whereas, the skipper could contribute just one run.

Mohammad Rizwan, on the other hand, kept the pursuit on and was able to score his century of the series as well as of his career. His effort took Pakistan to a stage where they needed 17 runs off the last over. But, he could not take his team over the line and got out on the second delivery of the over. It was Rizwan’s second century in the losing cause.

Usman Shinwari gave Pakistan a hope when he struck a six on the first delivery he faced, bringing the equation to 8 runs off two balls, but he found fielder on the next ball, making it impossible for Pakistan to score 8 off 1 ball.

Eventually, Pakistan were restricted to 271/8, losing the game by 6 runs.

Nathan Coulter-Nile remained the pick of the bowler with three wickets, while Marcus Stoinis took two and Richardson, Zampa and Lyon struck once.

Glenn Maxwell played an exuberant knock of 98 runs to help Australia reach a good 277 runs total against Pakistan.

Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey showed brilliance with the bat and rescued Australia from 140-5 to 277-7.

Australian openers Aaron Finch and Khawaja provided a decent opening stand to their team after being to bat first. They both played defensive cricket and scored 40-0 in 10 overs. Pakistani bowlers kept the things tight in the power play.

The young pace sensation Mohammad Husnain brought the first breakthrough for the men in green by bowling a slower delivery which was quite enough to deceive Finch. The skipper walked off after scoring 39 runs off 42 balls. It was Husnain’s maiden ODI wicket and he finished with the figures of 2-52.

Shaun Marsh then joined Khawaja as both left-handers looked to charge the opponents but Pakistani skipper Imad Wasim removed the dangerous man. The left-arm spinner pitched the ball short which forced Marsh to come down the pitch and it was a miss from him and Rizwan did no mistake in stumping. Marsh made just five runs.

Yasir Shah then immediately joined the party by removing Marcus Stoinis for naught on a perfect googly which went straight to thrash the stumps.

Usman Khawaja, later gave some relief to the Australian camp as the left-hander was continuously ticking the scoreboard despite wickets tumbling at the other hand. He brought up his fifty off 64 balls.

Yasir Shah with a sharp spun delivery bagged Khawaja who was trying to sweep the ball but couldn’t manage to pick up the length earlier. He contributed 62 runs off 78 balls.

The last part of the inning was all about Maxwell and his shots all around the park. He fell just two runs short to his century and his inning included nine hits to the fence and three sixes. He along with Alex Carey put 100 runs off just 109 balls on the scoreboard for the sixth wicket. Carey blasted his way to scoring 55 runs off just 67 runs including three boundaries.

Apart from Husnain, Yasir Shah and Imad Wasim also bagged two wickets each.

Earlier, the skipper Imad trapped Peter Handscomb in his legs and an inside edge went straight in the hands of Haris Sohail covering the slip quadrant. He managed to score just seven runs.

Pakistan have won the toss and decided to bowl first in the fourth ODI against Australia at Dubai International Stadium.

“We have lost the series but still there is a chance for us to resist against the visiting squad. We have depth in our bowling which is capable of restricting to a fewer total,” Imad said after winning the toss.

Aaron Finch, on the other hand, is eyeing a whitewash against the hosts who are finding it difficult to get proper combinations in their side. “We have an opportunity to score big here and put them under pressure,” he said.

Squads

Pakistan: Saad Ali, Abid Ali, Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Usman Khan Shinwari, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Husnain

Australia: Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

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