A fighting maiden ODI century from Mathew Wade and some superb fast bowling display by the pace bowlers hand Australia 1-0 lead in the VB AUSvPAK ODI series as Pakistan fell 92 runs short of their target of 269 at the Gabba.
Wade’s heroic knock was not only crucial to his side’s triumph, it was also a timely return to form ahead of the announcement of Australia’s Test squad for the much anticipated India tour.
The defeat may be particularly hard for the visitors to take considering an apparent hamstring damage to the captain Azhar Ali, who must now be in doubt for the remainder of the series.
Brisbane’s scorching hot weather also claimed an Australian casualty, with debutant Ben Stanlake appearing in some illness and unable to add to his three overs after coming back to the field.
Azhar Ali’s hamstring injury sucked all the momentum from Pakistan’s pursuit of 269, with Sharjeel Khan shelling Faulkner to mid-on and Hafeez following a delivery that was going across him to hand a catch to keeper Wade after the break.
Rizwan was held uncomfortably by March as he attempted a six over mid-wicket, and all-rounder Nawaz was bowled by a furious Starc inswinger before Azhar Ali arrived at the crease to revive his incomplete innings.
Pakistan were unable to consider an ill Shoaib Malik, meaning two spin bowlers – Imad and Nawaz – in the squad.
Pakistan’s pace attacked had started the day with some promise after Mohammad Amir claimed two consecutive scalps early in the day; David Warner with a sweetest of outswingers and Skipper Smith fell on the very next delivery to register his first golden duck in ODI cricket
The newly promoted Head and Lynn were unable to go past cameos as they got out cheaply to add to the worries of the home side.
Glenn Maxwell was thrown straight into the fire in his comeback match today when he walked out to the crease at 4-67 in the 13th over. The stylish right-hander maneuvered the ball beautifully, producing his trademark reverse sweep on more than one occasion. However he perished on 60 from 56 balls, handing a regulation catch to mid-wicket to end his run with Mathew Wade.
Wade took control; adding 42 with Cummins, 23 with Starc and a fighting 33* with the last man Stanlake to give his side a chance on a surface that played a little more trickily than appearances suggested.
Mathew wade reached his hundred with a single off the last ball of the innings, to lift Australia to a match-winning total of 269.
Wade proved his fitness on a hot and humid day by keeping the wickets flawlessly throughout Pakistan’s doomed pursuit to earn the Man of the Match award.
Next AUSvPAK ODI match: Sunday, 15th Jan at the MCG
Also Read: West Indies announce Pakistan tour schedule
Featured Photo Credit: K’s Page/Flickr