Babar Azam (33) and Hafeez put together a good stand to follow up a solid opening and despite losing both batsman in quick succession with Faulkner and Starc removing the pair in successive overs Pakistan didn’t panic. About the same time on the other side of the gates, eight members of the same squad were demonstrating why Swepson and his counterparts may not often have many runs to defend.
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez scored 72 and Shoaib Malik posted 42 not out as the visitors passed the target with 2.2 overs to spare. They were taking the pace off, I was swinging way too hard.Matthew Wade was seventh to fall six runs later on 199, bowled by Shoaib Malik for 35 before Junaid ran out a stranded Mitchell Starc off his own bowling.Stand-in captain Mohammad Hafeez led the way with a polished 72 but would have been out off the fourth ball of the innings if not for Steve Smith dropping a sitter in the slips.Smith made the curious decision to rely nearly exclusively on his pacemen, with part-time spinner Travis Head only given a second over late in the match and Glenn Maxwell not used at all. Glenn Maxwell, chosen for his allround skills for India, is yet to bowl a ball this series.Their openers Azhar Ali and Sharjeel Khan played some cautious cricket at the start as they knew the importance of saving their wickets.”Unfortunately our captain was not there, because he’s the man that is running this team for the last one and half years”.
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It had been Junaid who made his presence felt early.Australia skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first.Marsh’s days at No.4 might be limited after a loose drive to cover first ball.It was left to Wade and Glenn Maxwell (60) to rescue the innings with a crucial sixth-wicket partnership of 82, scoring at almost a run a ball.Matthew Wade made 100 not out to help his side recover from a poor position in Brisbane.The Australian attack was relentless in maintaining the pressure and victory was wrapped up with more than seven overs remaining when Wahab Riaz skied Cummins to mid-off. He was given out off of Pat Cummins’ bowling but the decision was successfully overturned on review. Pakistan were duly left with a chase that would appear within their reach, so long as the batsmen can improve after the fashion of the bowlers.