Australia have the last laugh. After losing the ODI series, an out-of-form captain Aaron Finch stood tall as Australia defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the lone T20I to finish the series on a high. Batting first, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan gave the hosts a flying start in Lahore. But the dismissal of Rizwan triggered a middle-order collapse as Pakistan went down and down before crucial knocks from Khushdil Shah and Usman Qadir put them at 162/8 in 20 overs. In reply, Travis Head and Aaron Finch gave Australia a sensational start. The visitors were 95/2 in 10 overs and looked to win the game with ease. Marcus Stoinis played a crucial part hitting five fours during his nine-ball stay while Finch returned back to form with 55 off 45 balls. In the end, it was Ben McDermott who hit the winning runs. For the selected Australian guys, they can head to Mumbai for IPL 2022 tomorrow happily. Get highlights of PAK vs AUS.
12:43 AM IST: Aaron Finch - Player Of The Match
"The way our bowlers attacked that game were fantastic. Nathan Ellis had a tough start but showed real character. Everything we do is one eye to the World Cup. There's been a lot of great performances on this tour and the whole Australia summer. To see so many young cricketers come on is super exciting. Glad we don't have to bowl to Babar anymore for a while."
12:22 AM IST: Australia Finish Tour With A Win
Ben McDermott wins in style with a four off Haris Rauf. Australia win by three wckets.
12:18 AM IST: Finch Departs
Noooooo! Aaron Finch is caught by Asif Ali on the boundary off Shaheen Shah Afridi. Another wicket. Sean Abbot is clean bowled two balls later. Shaheen also completes 200 international wickets. AUS 159/7 (18.4)
12:13 AM ST: Australia Inch Closer
After a couple of quiet overs, Ben McDermott breaks free to hit Haris Rauf for back-to-back boundaries. AUS 158/5 (18)
12:03 AM IST: 50 For Finchie
Aaron Finch brings up his fifty with a single. Top knock under pressure. Australia should win this game. AUS 143/5 (16)
23:57 PM IST: Men in Green Send Back Green
Another one bites the dust. Cameron Green is clean bowled for 2. Australia have lost three wickets in the last five overs. AUS 129/5 (13.4)
23:47 PM IST: Stoinis Departs
Marcus Stoinis' brief stay at the crease comes to an end. The all-rounder is clean bowled by Mohammad Wasim Jr for 8-ball 23. Aaron Finch is sill at the crease. AUS 119/4 (11.3)
23:42 PM IST: Not Letting You Go
Wicket, 4,4. Australia are in no mood to let this game go. Marnus Labuschagne is stumped on the first ball and Marcus Stoinis opens his account with back-to-back fours. 100 up for Australia. AUS 109/3 (11)
23:22 PM IST: Inglis Departs
Not the right time. Josh Inglis, who was hitting right along with Aaron Finch, edged behind to Mohammad Rizwan. Usman Qadir gets a wicket. AUS 84/2 (8.3)
23:19 PM IST: Powerplay Done
Captain joins the party. Aaron Finch hits a couple of fours off Haris Rauf to steer the Australian chase. Meanwhile, both Rauf and Finch have crossed paths in the BBL last season. AUS 63/1 (6)
23:15 PM IST: 50 Up
50 up for Australia in no time. Josh Inglis and Aaron Finch are currently in the crease. AUS 54/1 (5)
23:13 PM IST: Rauf Gives Breakthrough
Out! Travis Head flicks Haris Rauf for a six over mid-wicket only to be caught by Usman Qadir in the next. Big breakthrough for Pakistan. AUS 46/1 (4)
23:07 PM IST: Sensational Start
What a start Travis Head and Aaron Finch have given to Australia. Head sends Shaheen Shah Afridi thrice in the first over to take 14 runs. The second over too goes for 14 runs. AUS 33/0 (3)
22:40 PM IST: Innings Break
Usman Qadir nails it in the final over. A four and a 91m six off the first two balls. Another four in the fifth ball as Qadir pulls over deep mid-wicket. Pakistan finish at 162/8 in 20 overs.
22:30 PM IST: Fourth For Ellis
Nathan Ellis gets his third wicket of the match. Khushdil Shah goes back after making 24. MOre success for Ellis. Shaheen Shah Afridi is caught by Marcus Stoinis the next ball. PAK 142/8 (18.2)
22:26 PM IST: Hasan Ali Departs
Chopped On. After hitting a four and a six off Sean Abbot, Hasan Ali is clean bowled. PAK 142/6 (18)
22:23 PM IST: Ellis Strikes
Pakistan are slowly going down the barrel. Asif Ali departs, bowled by Nathan Ellis. PAK 128/5 (17)
22:14 PM IST: Babar Out
Australia have got the priced wicket of Babar Azam. Adam Zampa bowls wide of off-stump and Babar Azam goes for a biggie but ends up at the hands of Nathan Ellis at deep extra cover. He goes for 66. Babar had also hit the previous ball in the over for a six. PAK 118/4 (15.2)
22:11 PM IST: AUS Dent PAK Momentum
The fall of quick wickets has dented Pakistan's momentum. Babar Azam is currently leading the pack with an unbeaten 60. PAK 112/3 (15)
21:56 PM IST: Ellis Strikes
Another Pakistani batter goes down. Iftikar Ahmed is caught by Josh Inglis off Nathan Ellis for an unlucky 13. PAK 93/3 (11.5)
21:48 PM IST: Fifty For Babar
Fifty for Babar Azam with a boundary off Cameron Green. Pretty decent for Pakistan at this stage. PAK 80/2 (10)
21:40 PM IST: Two In An Over
Maiden T20I wicket for Cameron Green. Mohammad Rizwan tries to flick, but the ball turns and beat the inside edge to shatter the stumps. On no! Green gets another in next ball. Fakhsra Zaman hits straight to Aaron Finch for a first-ball duck. PAK 67/2 (8)
21:35 PM IST: Easy Batting
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan look batting so easy. The duo has so far mercilessly played with the inexperienced Australian bowling line-up. Babar already in 40s. PAK 63/0 (7)
21:29 PM IST: Huge Over
16 runs from the last over of the powerplay. Mohammad Rizwan hits Ben Dwarshuis for a four before Babar Azam dances down the track to send the debutant over the ropes towards extra cover. PAK 56/6 (6). This is also Pakistan's highest Powerplay over against the reigning T20 champions.
21:20 PM IST: PAK Off To A Good Start
Back-to-back fours from Babar Azam off Nathan Ellis in the fourth over. Sean Abbot once again impresses with just four runs in his second over. PAK 40/0 (5)
21:18 PM IST: Why this late start?
T20 internationals in the Asian sub-continent usually start around 7 PM. The reason for today's late start is likely due to the month of Ramadan. The fast is broken close to 7 PM.
21:14 PM IST: Quite Over
Not the kind of over Pakistan liked after their strong start. Sean Abbot concedes just four runs. PAK 22/0 (3)
21:11 PM IST: PAK Off To A Flier
Babar Azam welcomes Ben Dwarshuis with a four off the first ball. The Pakistan captain slashes with on the off-side. No chance for the fielder to stop. PAK 18/0 (2)
21:06 PM IST: Rizwan Starts With a 6
Mohammad Rizwan starts the game with a six in the first over. After a rather quiet first five balls, Rizwan clears the rope over the cow corner for a maximum. PAK 10-0 (1)
20:51 PM IST: It's Game Time
Top two batters in ICC T20I Rankings -- Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan - will open the batting for Pakistan. Interestingly, Travis Head will bowl the first over.
20:43 PM IST: Stat News
Australia hand T20 debuts to Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green and Ben Dwarshuis. Australia also become the first team in the world to have 100 players who represented the country in the shortest format.
20:40 PM IST: Playing XIs
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir.
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Ben McDermott, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa.
20:30 PM IST: Toss
Aaron Finch wins the toss and Australia will bowl first.
20:13 PM IST: Prep Time For Both Teams
It may be a one-off T20, but both Pakistan and Australia would like to treat the match as a preparation for the T20 World Cup later in the year. This game holds more importance to Australia's IPL-bound players who are likely to catch flights on Wednesday straight to Mumbai for the cash-rich tournament. Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis and Jason Behrendorff are the Australians to catch their flight to India tomorrow.
19:25 PM IST: Babar, Rizwan Factor
Australia will have to find a way to stop Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who has been in excellent form with match-winning and match-saving knocks throughout the PAK vs AUS series. Add to this Mohammad Rizwan, whose international form has won him awards and acclaim. And after a come-from-behind ODI series win, Pakistan have the momentum going into the last match of the series.
19:16 PM IST: Depleted Australia
Australia’s young, new-look squad means that only three of their winning T20 World Cup XI are available to take the field. The most experienced of the lot, skipper Aaron Finch, has another chance to rediscover his best, after having registered scores of 23, 0 and 0 in the ODI series. Finch will be heading off to Mumbai to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2022.
19:04 PM IST: Flashback
The last T20 clash between the two teams - the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 semifinal in Dubai - was an all-time classic, culminating in a thrilling finish. Unbeaten till that point in the competition, Pakistan put up 176/4 after being put in to bat, with Mohammad Rizwan (67 off 52), Fakhar Zaman (55 not out off 32) and Babar Azam (39 off 34) being the chief contributors.
David Warner and Mitchell Marsh got the chase going after Aaron Finch fell for a first-ball duck, before Shadab Khan spun a web to reduce Australia to 96/5 in the 13th over, leaving 81 required off 46. Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade brought it down to 20 off 10 with some quality-ball striking, before the latter was shelled by Hasan Ali at deep midwicket to add to the drama.
Matthew Wade struck three sixes in a row to seal the deal for Australia - a blitz reminiscent of Michael Hussey’s in the 2009 edition semifinal in St. Lucia. Three days later, Australia defeated New Zealand at the same venue to lift their maiden T20 World Cup title.