HARARE: Australia beat Pakistan by 9 wickets in the second T20 match of the tri-series underway in Zimbabwe on Monday, ending the Green Shirts’ eight-match winning streak in the shortest format of the game.
Fast bowler Billy Stanlake demolished Pakistan’s top order with four quick wickets as they were held to 116 all out. Australia chased down the target in the 11th over, powered by skipper Aaron Finch’s 68* off 33.
Stanlake took 4 for 8 in his opening burst, the most economical spell by an Australian in T20 international cricket, and the second best ever behind James Faulkner’s 5 for 27 the last time the two teams met.
Opening the bowling from the City End and extracting fearsome pace and bounce from the surface, Stanlake had Mohammad Hafeez fending the ball to Australia captain Aaron Finch at first slip with his third delivery.
Finch was back in the action two overs later, running from first slip to gully to take a stunning catch to remove Hussain Talat.
A rising leg stump delivery had Fakhar Zaman caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey, and when Sarfraz Ahmed presented a regulation chance to Finch at slip, Stanlake had his fourth and Pakistan were 24 for 4.
Shoaib Malik, who became the first male cricketer to play 100 T20Is in the match, briefly rallied alongside Asif Ali before a horrible mix-up led his run out for 13.
With Pakistan teetering at 47 for 5, Ali counter-attacked and launched a length delivery from medium pacer Marcus Stoinis clean out of the ground for six.
However, Stoinis soon had his revenge, bowling Ali for 22 as Pakistan slipped to 61 for 6.
It was then left to Pakistan’s lower order to guide the team beyond 100.
Faheem Ashraf managed 21 before he was bounced out by Jhye Richardson, while 19-year-old Shadab Khan cracked a four and a six to top score with 29.
Khan fell trying to quicken the run rate in the final over, and Andrew Tye quickly wrapped up Pakistan’s innings with two more wickets as the side were bowled out one ball short of the full 20 overs.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), D’Arcy Short, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake