Australia escape through slender win eclipsing twin hundreds from Pakistan
Australia are leading the five match series against Pakistan by 4-0 winning the fourth match by six runs at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.
Visiting Aussies pulled off a breathtaking last over, narrow win on the back of a pair of hundreds by Pakistan’s Abid Ali and Mohammad Rizwan.
Needing 278 runs to win, Pakistan were brought close to the target by Ali’s 112 and Rizwan’s 104 but in the end the twin hundreds went in vain as the home team failed to score a required 17 off Marcus Stoinis’s last over.
Ali and Rizwan scripted a 144 run third wicket win pushing Pakistan on the road of what could be their first victory in the series.
Ali scored the sensational inaugural hundred after being picked in the side only two hours before the match start as Imam-ul-Haq went down with fever.
Ali’s 111 ball knock procured nine boundaries while Rizwan had a six and nine boundaries off 102 balls hundred.
Ali is the 15th batsman to score a hundred on one-day international debut. Salim Elahi (102) not out v Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in 1995) and Imam (100 v Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi 2017) were the other two Pakistani batsmen to score debut ODI tons.
When Adam Zampa finally clutched back Ali in the 42nd over of the innings, Pakistan were in need of 60 runs in the last 8.5 overs which was not, however, seemed as any improbable target from their position.
But drama was yet to be on the card for both the teams.
Umar Akmal and debutant Saad Ali were victims of pace man Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Stoinis grabbed both Rizwan and Shinwari in the final over as Pakistan were strangled to book the victory at last.
The fourth successive defeat of the series also earned Pakistan an embarrassing record. They became the first side in the history of the game to lose a match chasing 280 runs or less where two of their batsmen had scored centuries.
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell lifted Australia after sent into bat first from 140 for 5 to a total close to three hundred.