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AUS v PAK 4th ODI Review: Warner, Zampa help Australia take an unassailable 3-1 lead

David Warner of Australia
David Warner of Australia celebrates scoring a century. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Australia continued their dominance against Pakistan and clinched yet another series victory after defeating the Asian giants by 86 runs in the 4th ODI at Sydney today. Yet again swashbuckling opener David Warner laid the foundation for the hosts with a scintillating century which propelled them to a massive score of 353/6 after batting first. Pakistan was terrible in the field and dropped as many as four catches and

Pakistan was terrible in the field and dropped as many as four catches and misfielded on numerous occasions. The start for Pakistan was good with opener Sharjeel Khan going great guns but they couldn’t keep up the scoreboard pressure and folded out for 267 in only the 44th over. If the Pakistan batsmen had applied themselves a bit more then we might have witnessed an epic run-chase.

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Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat. Openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja began on an impressive note with both looking solid in the middle. Warner got things underway by a playing a beautiful cover drive of Mohammad Amir in the final delivery of the 2nd over. Boundaries started flowing as the hosts raced off to 37/0 in the 5th over. The fielders were very sloppy in the field and kept giving away easy singles and doubles.

After sharing a 92 run stand for the opening wicket Usman Khawaja was dismissed by Hasan Ali in the 2nd delivery of the 17th over. It was delivered in the good length area and the batsman managed to edge it behind the stumps. Captain Steve Smith joined Warner in the middle and the duo kept the scoreboard ticking without taking any undue risks. Both the batsmen took the singles and doubles to perfection and struck the big shots whenever needed.

Also read: Stats: Top 10 Batsmen fastest to 12 ODI centuries

Warner was dropped twice and the southpaw cashed in on the opportunity and went on to smash his 12th century in his ODI career. Warner went on to complete his century in the 30th over of the bowling of Mohammad Amir. Warner eventually gave away his wicket in the 35th over of the innings after scoring 130. Despite his dismissal, there was no pressure on the hosts as Warner had already taken them to a position of strength.

Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell added the much needed late impetus in the death overs which propelled them to a massive score of over 350. The hard-hitting all-rounder played terrific innings of 78 of 44 deliveries, an innings constructed with 10 hits to the fence and a solitary six. Travis Head too smashed his way to a half-century in 35 balls and stitched together a valuable 100 runs partnership for the 5th wicket. Australia eventually ended their allotted 50 overs at the score of 353/6.

Chasing a tall ask, the visitors went off to a great start courtesy left-hander Sharjeel Khan but lost Azhar Ali in only the 2nd over. Sharjeel struck two crisp boundaries in the very first over of the innings of Mitchell Starc. Josh Hazlewood removed Azhar Ali in only the 2nd over with a beautiful away swinger which took the outside edge of the bat and was grabbed by Smith stationed in the 1st slip.

On the other hand, Sharjeel Khan was striking the ball very well. The southpaw took on the Aussie bowlers with disdain and kept hitting at least one boundary in every over. Babar Azam who joined him in the middle also played some delightful strokes stitched together a crucial partnership with Sharjeel Khan for the 2nd wicket.

Also read: Sloppy work in the field from Pakistan helps the Aussies post 353

Sharjeel struck a terrific straight six of Travis Head in the 2nd delivery of the 14th over but Pakistan lost their 2nd wicket in that same over as Babar Azam holed out in the long-on attempting a big shot. Mohammad Hafeez came in the middle and looked settled in the crease. He was hardly troubled by any of the quicks and along with Sharjeel, the duo was playing freely. SHharjeel eventually was dismissed in the 17th over against the run of play, which proved to be the nail in the coffin for the visitors.

With the score at 119/3, Shoaib Malik joined Mohammad Hafeez in the middle. The duo started batting sensibly and struck the big shots in the crucial junctures of the game. After sharing a 64 runs partnership for the 5th wicket, Hafeez gave away his wicket in the 30th over. The visitors failed to hit the big shots as the required rate kept climbing. Shoaib Malik too fell in the 36th over and there was no way back for the visitors from then.

Imad Wasim scored a fluent 17 balls 25 later in the innings but that wasn’t enough to harbour hopes of a Pakistan win. The visitors were eventually bowled out for 267 in the 44th over, thus handing the Aussies a comfortable win by 86 runs. Courtesy their comprehensive victory, the hosts have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the 5 match series.

Brief Scores

Australia 353/6 in 50 overs (David Warner 130, Glenn Maxwell 78, Hasan Ali 5/52)

Pakistan 267 in 43.5 overs (Sharjeel Khan 74, Shoaib Malik 47, Josh Hazlewood 3/54, Adam Zampa 3/55)

Australia won by 86 runs

Also read: Virat Kohli opts for a DRS decision without talking Dhoni’s advice and it was a review in vain

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