Smith powers Australia to series lead against Pakistan

Ross Houston
November 8, 2019

Disappointed by Pakistan team's loss in the second Twenty20 global to Australia in Canberra on Tuesday, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar said there is no batsmen in the team who could take responsibility like skipper Babar Azam.

PAT Cummins will be rested from the last Twenty20 against Pakistan as Australia turn one eye towards the first Test at the Gabba. They needed a 3-0 win in over the men in green, like they secured in their preceding series against Sri Lanka, to replace Pakistan at the top position in the standing.

Steve Smith's unbeaten 80, his highest T20I score since August 2015, helped steer Australia's chase of 151, a target they eventually achieved with nine balls to spare.

Earlier, recently-appointed Pakistan captain Babar Azam also played a majestic knock of 59* off 38 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan hit an impressive 33-ball 31 to take their side to 107-5 in 15 overs before showers arrived to halt the play for the second time. "I guess you have to bear in mind ... early in my career I was batting No. 8 or 9, coming in and slogging, facing half a dozen balls tops". He hit three boundaries on the off side in an Amir over as Australia eased to victory in the 19th over.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are spearheading an attack that conceded less than 7.5 runs an over in the first four games of the summer.

"Pakistan could have easily scored 200 or around that on this particular wicket", reckoned Shoaib.

Earlier, it was a late blitz by Iftikhar Ahmed, at No.6, that lifted Pakistan past 150. "They bowled beautifully. Then it was just about timing the run and fortunately I was able to do that tonight".

"We are disappointed, Steve Smith took the match away", Azam said.

"The way we kept taking wickets throughout the innings was really important because we know how damaging Pakistan can be in the powerplay or at the end, so to get wickets consistently was the key", Australia captain Aaron Finch said. He played a magnificent innings.

That will be his only red-ball preparation before the Test squad assembles for a camp in Brisbane ahead of the Test series against Pakistan.

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