Finch, Marsh help Australia put down lackluster Pakistan

Australia’s Aaron Finch (L) celebrates his century (100 runs) during the first one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on March 22, 2019. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images

It seemed that the two teams in the first match of the ODI series in Sharjah were playing in a different era – Pakistan in the 1980s and Australia in the current era. In the series opener, Pakistan batted the way Imran Khan’s men did 30 years back, starting slow, hitting the ball in the latter part of the innings and ending up with what they thought was a formidable score on board. Sadly, the Aussies were way ahead of the hosts and calmly achieved the target with 8 wickets to spare, as Pakistani bowlers’ search for wickets ended in vain.

The match started after a minute’s silence in memory of the Christchurch victims with both the teams paying their respects by keeping their heads down.

Debutant Shan Masood started well, hitting the bad balls for a boundary, and rotating the strike sensibly.

After his dismissal for 40, Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal added 98 for the third wicket. While Umar Akmal added 48 runs to the scoreboard, Haris Sohail managed to score maiden ODI century, as the hosts managed 280 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Australia started slowly losing the in-form Usman Khwaja for 24 runs.

However, captain Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh had other ideas. They added 172 runs for the second wicket to steer Australia towards victory. Aaron Finch managed 116 runs off 135 deliveries while Shaun Marsh remained unbeaten at 91.

Pakistan and Australia will play the next match on Sunday and one hopes that the Men in Green will bowl better and square the series 1-1, with three more matches to go.

Omair Alavi

Read Previous

Hum TV – Aangan Episode 14

Read Next

Ian Chappell Calls On Cricket Teams To Resume Pakistan Tour