Pakistan vs Australia 2nd ODI: Maxwell hands Australia unassailable 2-0 lead

Maxwell struck nine boundaries and a six during his game-winning knock of 76

Maxwell struck nine boundaries and a six during his game-winning knock of 76

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell smashed a magnificent 76 to lead his side to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the second ODI in Dubai.

This win was extremely important for Australia as it secured them the series since they now have an unassailable 2-0 lead.

However, Pakistan’s opening duo of Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed both deserve a lot of credit as they scored half-centuries.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq would have been thrilled with his decision to bat first after Shehzad and Ahmed amassed a 126-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Shehzad was caught by Steven Smith at midwicket off the bowling of Xavier Doherty.

Shehzad’s brilliant knock of 61 came off 82 balls and included five boundaries.

Shehzad made a valiant 61

Shehzad made a valiant 61

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Ahmed went on to score a career-best 65, which came off 72 deliveries and included five boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Maxwell at point off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson.

Ahmed's maiden ODI half-century went in vain

Ahmed’s maiden ODI half-century went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Ul-Haq failed to have an impact with the bat as he was run out by Maxwell for 15 runs.

Umar Akmal only made five runs before he was caught by Smith at mid-off off the bowling of Johnson.

Asad Shafiq managed to make 29 runs before he was caught by Johnson at mid-off off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.

Shahid Afridi mustered two runs before he was caught by Smith at slip off the bowling of Johnson.

Wahab Riaz also made two runs before he was clean bowled by Kane Richardson.

Raza Hasan failed to trouble the scorers as he was run out by Smith for a duck.

Zulfiqar Babar scored six runs before he was caught by Maxwell at point off the bowling of James Faulkner.

Pakistan were bowled out for 215 when Mohammad Irfan was run out by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for a golden duck.

Johnson was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Richardson, Doherty, Faulkner and Lyon chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 216 to win, Australia got off to a poor start as opening batsman Aaron Finch was caught behind off the bowling of Irfan for 14.

Smith fared no better as he was caught behind off the bowling of Babar for 12 runs.

David Warner managed to make 29 runs before he was caught by Irfan at long-on off the bowling of Hasan.

Maxwell and Australia skipper George Bailey stabilised the innings with an 85-run partnership, during which Maxwell brought up his half-century, before Bailey was run out by Shehzad for 28.

Maxwell ended up making 76 off 81 balls, which included nine boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Shafiq at short fine leg off the bowling of Babar.

Faulkner and Haddin finished things off with an unbeaten 39-run partnership.

Faulkner scored 26 off 37 balls, which included three boundaries, while Haddin remained undefeated on 17 off 20 deliveries, which included one boundary and a six.

Babar was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Irfan and Hasan claimed one wicket each.

Ul-Haq was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Poor display in the last 25 overs. If we had batted normally, we should have reached 250, we could have defended it. We can only ask for a better display from our side. Scoring 160, 200 against a top quality side, it’s difficult to defend. You could say it was an improved performance today, especially the opening batsmen and Asad Shafiq. The spinners bowled really well. These were the positives for us.”

Bailey was pleased to have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, and said: “The bowlers did a wonderful job to drag it back after Pakistan’s start. 220-230 was a good total on that but a couple of nice partnerships finished it nicely. (Speaking about the turn) It’s something that we are working on and teams are preparing challenging conditions for us, but we are getting better.”

Maxwell was named Man of the Match, and said: “It’s always a nice time to come back here. Hopefully we can make a clean sweep. I was just playing my role. Today I came in a different situation with the ball spinning. I just tried to play to the situation and get close to the total. I hope I put in enough performances here and hope to get noticed when Test selection comes in.”

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