Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade scored his maiden ODI century as Australia demolished Pakistan by 92 runs in the first ODI in Brisbane.
Choosing to bat first, Australia found themselves in trouble early on as Pakistan left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir removed David Warner and captain Steve Smith in successive deliveries.
Debutant Chris Lynn could only make 16 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Hasan Ali, while Travis Head made an encouraging 39 before falling to Imad Wasim.
Mitchell Marsh failed to have an impact as well as he was caught behind off the bowling of Wasim for four runs.
A returning Glenn Maxwell and Wade settled things down with an 82-run stand, during which Maxwell surpassed his fifty.
However, he was unable to convert it into a bigger score as he was removed by Hasan for 60, which came off 56 balls and included seven boundaries.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
James Faulkner could only add five runs before he was sent packing by Mohammad Nawaz, while Pat Cummins made 15 before being run out by Umar Akmal.
Mitchell Starc added 10 runs before becoming Hasan’s third victim of the match, but despite that, Wade guided Australia to 268/9 off their 50 overs courtesy of his maiden ODI century, which he got off the last ball of the innings.
Wade’s career-best knock of 100 came off 100 balls and included seven boundaries and two sixes.
Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Amir and Wasim snapped up two wickets apiece. Nawaz, meanwhile, chipped in with one.
Chasing 269 to win, Pakistan got off to a cautious start before opener Sharjeel Khan was sent packing by Faulkner for 18.
Captain Azhar Ali retired hurt on 12 just three balls later after injuring himself while running a single, but things continued to get worse for Pakistan as Mohammad Hafeez was caught behind off the bowling of Faulkner for four runs, while Akmal was dismissed by Starc for 17.
Babar Azam joined the mounting list of batsmen back in the pavilion following an encouraging knock of 33, while Mohammad Rizwan fell to Cummins after making 21.
Pakistan completely collapsed following Rizwan’s departure as they went from 129/5 to being bowled out for 176, which included the wicket of Azhar, who returned, but only added 12 runs to his score.
Faulkner was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Cummins took three, Starc got two and Marsh claimed one.
Azhar was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “It’s a bit sore, but hopefully it will recover soon. The physio will have a better look and see how far I can get. Hopefully I can take part in the next game. I think full credit to the bowlers, first half it was very good, but obviously credit goes to Matthew Wade the way he batted. We thought from five down for 78 we can get them out early, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. It was still chaseable but we needed to have good partnerships up front.”
Smith was delighted to have won, and said: “It was a pretty average start. We were in a bit of a hurry, to be fair. I thought Matthew Wade played an exceptional innings. 270 was around par, it was a bit of a slow wicket. We bat all the way down. Starcy is batting at No. 10 at the moment. We’ve got a long order. If we come off we’re going to make some big scores. We need to be a bit smarter at the top. We bowled in good areas all night, took the pace off well, got the job done.”
Wade was named Man of the Match, and said: “Feels great. It was challenging at the top, it was swinging and seaming around. Maxi took the pressure off me, and I was just looking to get him on strike. I was absolutely cooked (by the last over). They were taking the pace off, I was swinging way too hard. If the spinners bowled into the wicket it was hard to hit them down the ground.”