Winning by six wickets, the MCG win against Australia comes after 32 years drought
Melbourne, January 15: Pakistan ended their 12-year drought in Australia with a six-wicket win in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here on Sunday.
The sub-continent side couldn’t beat the hosts Down Under since 2005.
On Sunday, it was the visiting bowlers who set up the victory, bowling Australia out short of their 50 overs for just 220.
With their backs to the wall after a defeat in the first ODI, the Mohammad Hafeez-led side first bowled Australia out for 220 in 48.2 overs and then chased down the target with 14 balls to spare, winning by six wickets.
Steve Smith top-scored for Australia with 60 runs while Mohammad Amir (3/47), Junaid Khan (2/40) and Imad Wasim (2/37) picked up majority of the wickets for Pakistan. The Aussies never got going in their innings after winning the toss and electing to bat as wickets fell regularly.
In reply, Hafeez led the chase with a solid 72-run knock and found support from other Pakistan batsmen too. No.3 batsman Babar Azam scored 34 while veteran Shoaib Malik was not out on 42.
In the end, Malik and Umar Akmal (18) stayed unbeaten in the six-wicket win.
Australia pacer Mitchell Starc (2/45) and all-rounder James Faulkner (2/35) picked up the Pakistani wickets that fell.
Paceman Mitchell Starc will be rested from Friday’s one-day game in Perth, with selectors considering another all-rounder to be added to the squad before then.
Pakistan’s win at MCG has exposed that Pakistan’s spin bowlers did the damage and Australia preparing to head to India, spin bowling may the area that Australia will have to work on.
Australia failed to bat out their 50 overs, skittled for just 220 after 48.1 overs.
As Captain Steve Smith, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell fell to Pakistani bowlers, after misreading the flight of the spinners, Nine commentator Mark Taylor said that Australian batsman were playing all around balls which weren’t turning.
“It’s not spinning massively and we have seen Australians struggling,” agreed Pakistan legendary cricketer, Waqar Younis.
Australia 220 (Steve Smith 60, Mohammad Amir 3/47) vs Pakistan 221/4 (Mohammad Hafeez 72, James Faulkner 2/35).
Raj Kumar with agencies