After a month of Australia making Pakistan work for every run, wicket and win, here was the exception to the rule. In a rare lacklustre performance, Australia found themselves blown away by a dominant performance as they were crushed by nine wickets to seal a 2-1 series win in Lahore in their day night match on Saturday.
It came courtesy of a fiery fast bowling performance, and an unbeaten 190-run partnership between Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq. Pakistan had put Australia in to bat, skittling them out inside 42 overs for 210 before making light work of that target on a featherbed of a surface, with Imam and Babar making an inexperienced Australian bowling attack look particularly toothless. An undefeated 105 by Babar, his second consecutive hundred, and an unbeaten 89 from Imam helped Pakistan to a nine-wicket win with 73 balls to spare.
Australia knew it was coming, and yet there seemed no way to stop it. A sensational – and yet by now, almost predictable – first over from Shaheen Shah Afridi got rid of Travis Head, dealing Australia a blow that left them groggy throughout the innings, and Haris Rauf removed Aaron Finch before Australia were off the mark.
Pakistan: 214 for 1 37.5 overs (Babar 105, Imam 89*)
Australia: 210 in 41.5 overs (Carey 56, Abbott 49, Rauf 3/39, Wasim 3/40) (Agencies)