Pakistan hammers Australia in opening T20

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27 October, 2018

Babar Azam's magnificent unbeaten 68*, complimented by Imad Wasim's haul of 3/20 helped Pakistan get their Twenty20 series against Australia off to a great start with a crushing 66-run win in the first match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Australia's hopes of taking the lead in the three-match series were soon over as they made a horrendous start to their reply, slumping to 22-6 with spinning all-rounder Imad taking 3-20 in his first global for a year. It is also their third-lowest score ever in T20 internationals, right behind their 79 runs against England in 2005 at Southampton and 86 runs against India in 2014. Fast bowler Faheem Ashraf accounted for the next two wickets in Chris Lynn (14) and Glenn Maxwell (2) as Australia slumped to 16/4 in the fourth over.

Australia's stunning batting collapse at Abu Dhabi in the first T20 global against Pakistan was very similar to that of a "vehicle crashing in a slow motion" according to their skipper Aaron Finch.

Agar (19) and Coulter-Nile spared Australia total humiliation, but Shaheen Afridi struck twice as Pakistan put Finch's men out of their misery.

Australia was dismissed for 89 runs in 16.5 overs.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised an allround performance.

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"Opening the batting, it's my responsibility to get us off to a good start and set up the chase there", said Finch. Azam, who missed out on a maiden Test century by one run in the Abu Dhabi Test, was involved in a 73-run partnership for the second wicket with experienced Mohammad Hafeez.

"I think when that many guys get bowled it's obviously alarming, particularly on a flat surface that didn't swing a hell of a lot", said Finch who was out trying to cut a ball from Wasim that hit middle stump.

Each of Australia's top four batsmen were bowled and Chris Lynn (14) was the only member of the top six to reach double digits in a 66-run defeat in which Australia posted their equal third-lowest total in a T20 worldwide.

Finch said the team would need to consider making some serious changes to their batting technique before the second game of the series in Dubai on Friday.

Pace duo Billy Stanlake (3-21) and Andrew Tye (3-24) did the bulk of the damage, with Stanlake using his pace and height to devastating effect.

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