PERTH, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Pakistan were left humbled and humiliated by Australia’s miserly bowling unit, which set up a comprehensive 10-wicket victory for the home side in the third Twenty20 international on Friday and ensured a 2-0 triumph in the rain-affected series.
Batting first after losing the toss at Perth Stadium, the tourists mustered just 106 after Australia’s seamers combined for seven of the eight wickets to fall. The target posed no problems for the hosts who blasted their way to 109 in 11.5 overs.
Pakistan struggled from the outset, with paceman Mitchell Starc (2-29) picking up two wickets in the third over. Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked T20 batsman, was trapped leg-before for only six while Mohammad Rizwan was clean bowled on the next delivery.
Sean Abbott, playing his first international match since bowling a bouncer which fatally struck New South Wales batsman Phillip Hughes in 2014, bowled economically (2-14) and was heartily embraced by his team mates when he induced a top edge from opener Imam-ul-Haq (14).
Top-scoring with 45, Iftikhar Ahmed played a lone hand before being caught at fine leg off the bowling of Kane Richardson who recorded career-best figures of 18 for three.
“Starcy, Kane Richardson, they were brilliant every chance they got,” said winning skipper Aaron Finch. “Sean Abbott, to come back after five years and do the business first up was unbelievable.”
After the change of innings, openers Finch (52 not out) and David Warner (48 not out) entertained the modest Perth crowd – experiencing their first T20 international in nine years – with a lusty display of twilight hitting which produced five sixes and eight fours and saw Australia cruise to victory.
Both teams now turn their focus to red-ball cricket, with the first of three tests starting on Nov. 21 in Brisbane. (Reporting by Joel Dubber Editing by Toby Davis)