Australia vs Pakistan 3rd ODI: Australia go 2-1 up courtesy of Smith’s century

Smith celebrates after scoring his eighth ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Australia captain Steve Smith scored a game-winning hundred to lead his side to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the third ODI in Perth.

Smith, however, was brilliantly supported by debutant Peter Handscomb, who made a fantastic 82.

Being put in to bat first, Pakistan got off to a brisk start courtesy of Sharjeel Khan before fellow opener and stand-in captain Mohammad Hafeez was trapped lbw off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood for four runs.

Just when Pakistan were beginning to rebuild their innings, Sharjeel was clean bowled by Travis Head for 50, which came off 47 balls and included eight boundaries and a six.

Sharjeel made his fourth ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Even though Asad Shafiq fell shortly after, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik amassed a 63-run partnership, during which Azam brought up his half-century, before Malik was caught behind off the bowling of Billy Stanlake for 39.

Azam and Umar Akmal kept the runs flowing with a 60-run stand before Azam was dismissed by Hazlewood for 84, which came off 100 deliveries and included four boundaries and a six.

Azam needed just 21 innings to amass 1,000 ODI runs and thus became the joint-fastest to achieve the feat

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Pakistan lost quick wickets towards the end of their innings and eventually finished on 263/7 off their 50 overs.

Hazlwood was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Head snapped up two and Stanlake and Pat Cummins chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 264 to win, Australia got off to a solid start before opening batsman David Warner was caught behind off the bowling of Junaid Khan for 35.

Usman Khawaja fell in the very next over as he was caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Amir for just nine runs.

After being dealt two quick blows, Smith and Handscomb, who was given an extra life on zero as he was dismissed by Junaid off a no-ball, came to the rescue for Australia as they amassed a 183-run partnership, during which both batsmen sailed past their half-centuries.

Smith and Handscomb’s 183-run stand is the third-highest partnership for Australia in an ODI against Pakistan.

With the hosts closing in on victory, Pakistan claimed the wicket of Handscomb for 82 off 84 balls, which included six boundaries.

Handscomb is just the fifth Australian batsman to score a fifty on debut in a Test match and an ODI

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Smith and Travis Head mopped up the remaining runs to lead Australia to victory with five overs to spare.

Smith ended up making 108 off 104 balls, which included 11 boundaries and a six, while Head remained undefeated on 23 off 25 deliveries, which included four boundaries.

During his knock, Smith surpassed 3,000 ODIs runs and became the fastest Australian to reach the milestone as he needed 79 innings. George Bailey and Micheal Bevan held the previous record as they both took 80 innings to achieve the feat.

Amir, Junaid and Hasan Ali took one wicket each.

Hafeez was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “There was a platform for us to make 300 plus, but we missed our opportunity. No-balls are all part of the game, but the effort was there from the bowlers. Once you miss those chances, the pressure will always be on you. Everyone has to lift themselves. The next two venues will suit us.”

Smith, who was named Man of the Match, was pleased to have regained the series lead, and said: “We bowled pretty well in the afternoon to restrict them to 260 odd when it was a 320 wicket. Luck always helps, Handscomb is batting really nicely. He’s carrying on his form from Test cricket. He didn’t look out of place at all. I love batting and scoring runs, it was nice to get another big one. When you get yourself in, this is one of the best places to bat.”

 

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