WILL EVANS charges down the wicket with cricket tips for the second of three ODI clashes between Pakistan and Australia.
21:00 (AEDT), Thu 31st Mar @ Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
History: Played 105: Australia 69 V Pakistan 32 (1 Tie, 3 No Results)
Last meeting: March 29, 2022: Australia d Pakistan by 88 runs at Gaddafi Stadium
Final Thoughts: Australia will look to wrap up their three-match ODI series in Pakistan after carving out a commanding victory in Tuesday’s opener.
A new-look Australian line-up thundered to an 88-run victory, despite the unplanned absence of Mitch Marsh (hip) and Ashton Agar (COVID) coming on top of Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and David Warner being rested, Glenn Maxwell’s unavailability and Steve Smith’s elbow injury.
Promoted to an opening role, Travis Head blasted 101 off 72 balls to set up Australia’s innings of 7/313. Ben McDermott (55 off 70) played a steady hand at first drop, while Cameron Green (40* off 30) made some important runs in the last 10 overs after Pakistan had fought back.
Haris Rauf and Zahib Mahmood took two wickets each but every Pakistan bowler went for at least five runs an over.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq’s century (103 off 96) kept Pakistan in the frame and Babar Azam (57 off 72) contributed strongly. But no other batsman managed more than 19 as the hosts crumbled to 225 all out in the 46th over.
Adam Zampa (4/38) mopped up the tail, Nathan Ellis (1/36) capped a solid debut performance with Imam-ul-Haq’s wicket, and Mitchell Swepson and man-of-the-match Head picked up two wickets apiece.
No changes likely for Australia, Pakistan hopeful for key bowler
With Marsh now out of the entire series and Agar still unavailable, Australia are expected to go into game two with the same line-up. Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Stoinis will be eager to rack up a score after getting out in the 20s on Tuesday.
Pakistan are sweating on the return of strike bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, with Hasan Ali the likely player to drop out.
Pakistan have enjoyed precious little success against Australia in the ODI arena over the past decade. Australia have won 16 of the nations’ last 17 one-days, including the last 10 straight.
Despite Australia’s comprehensive victory in game one, they are $2.27 underdogs to complete a series victory with one match to go – outstanding value. Look to Head, McDermott and Azam in the top batter markets.