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Pakistan vs Australia: Shahid Afridi is stunned with the way Aussies collapsed in the first T20I

Australia were reduced to 22 for 6 at one stage.

Shahid Afridi. (Photo by RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was left astounded to see the once mighty Australians put up such a dismal performance against Pakistan in the first T20I. After having lost the two-match Test series 0-1, the visitors were incapable of turning things around in the shortest format as they folded for a mere 89 on Wednesday at Abu Dhabi. Chasing a moderate total of 156 to win the match, Aaron Finch’s side was knocked out by Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf who shared 5 wickets between themselves, giving away a mere 30 runs.

Sarfraz Ahmed was asked to bat first after the Australians won the toss. But Babar Azam‘s fine innings up front meant the hosts were in cruise control, looking good to go past 180 at one stage. However, the T20 experts Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake engineered one of the strangest collapses in T20I history. From being 105 for 1, Pakistan found themselves reeling at 133 for 8, with just 11 balls left in the innings. However, Hasan Ali’s fireworks in the end helped them post 155 runs in 20 overs.

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A disastrous start for the Australians

Nevertheless, 156 was not going to be a very steep chase under any circumstances, and given Australia’s top-heavy batting line-up, it should have been a fairly simple affair. Speaking of collapses, what followed was incredible – before Australia could see themselves through the first 6 overs of powerplay, they were reduced to 22 for 6, as Chris Lynn walked back for just 14. Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf had done the bulk of the damage, and Pakistan were virtually assured of a resounding victory.

Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Agar tried to pull things back for the Aussies, but to no avail. They shared a 38-run partnership, following which Agar was removed by Hasan Ali. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan picked up the final three wickets for Pakistan, thus winning the match by 66 runs. Coulter-Nile finished as the highest run-scorer for Australia in the match with his 34 while as many as 8 batsmen failed to get to double figures.

Shahid Afridi took to Twitter shortly after the match to say, “Absolutely stunned by the Australian collapses first in Tests and now in the T20I. What’s wrong? Brilliant comeback @simadwasim. And yes Pakistan is number one in the format for a reason. The best in the world. Keep going strong boys. #PAKvAUS”

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