DUBAI– A stunning fightback from Australia’s bowlers gave the visitors a six-run win in the fourth ODI against Pakistan in Dubai.
Pakistan, led by a century on debut from Abid Ali, had the game seemingly signed, sealed and delivered with nine overs left to play in their chase of 278. But, the home side collapsed from 218/2 to 271/8 to hand Australia their seventh consecutive ODI victory. While Mohammad Rizwan reached his second ODI century along the way, it proved to be another disappointing night for Pakistan.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the pick of the Australian bowlers, collecting 3/53 from his 10 overs, and credit must also be given to spinners Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa, both of whom finished with economical figures of 1/49 from their allotted ten overs.
Australia’s bowling resurgence followed on from a batting performance that enjoyed it’s very own revival: a sixth-wicket stand of 134 between Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey. The pair joined forces after Usman Khawaja fell for 62, with Australia in a less than comfortable spot at 140/5.
After hitting 71 in the previous ODI, Maxwell starred once more for his side, albeit with luck on his side. The all-rounder was dropped early on in his innings by Rizwan behind the stumps, and had fortune on his side once more when Junaid Khan failed to get to a chance at long-on.
He was bowled off a no-ball from Usman Shinwari when on 76, and it seemed that today would be the day he collected his second ODI century. Unfortunately for the Melbourne Stars captain, a run-out in the final over of the innings when he was on 98 finally ended his stay.
Carey was out for 55, but a total of 277/7 was, nonetheless, an imposing one.
While Shan Masood departed without scoring, it seemed that it was to be a fairytale day for Pakistan’s other opener, Abid Ali. Making his international bow at the age of 31, the right-hander proceeded to hit the highest score by a Pakistan batsman on ODI debut, and together with the diminutive Rizwan, put on a third-wicket stand of 144.
While Rizwan remained fighting after Abid finally departed, the screws suddenly turned on Pakistan as an inexperienced line-up Saad Ali was another batsman on debut – could not dig out some boundaries to calm the nerves and crush Australian hopes.
In the end, the side that have enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in their ODI fortunes, rose up once more, stealing victory from the jaws of defeat.-ICC
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