Nathan Ellis took a four-fer before Aaron Finch returned to form with a 55 as Australia signed off the Pakistan tour with a win in the sole T20 encounter at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday in Lahore. Australia had won the Test series before losing the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Chasing 163 to win, Australia were off to a flying start before a flurry of wickets in the middle brought Pakistan into the game. However, Ben McDermott held his nerves to see his team home with five balls to spare. This was also Australia’s first-ever three-format tour of Pakistan.
Finch, who had scores of 23, 0 and 0 in the ODI series, held on one end and ensured that Australia stay in the hunt till the last ball. He stitched two crucial stands with Travis Head and Josh Inglis for the opening two wickets that set the platform for the chase.
While Finch played the second fiddle, Head and Inglis attacked from the onset as Australia scored 84 runs in 8.3 overs. However, Pakistan gradually came back into the game with a few quick wickets. On the other hand, Finch kept the visitors in the game with a couple of more stands.
Marcus Stoinis slammed five fours during his nine-ball stay to up the scoring rate. However, Pakistan once again came back with two more wickets. Cameron Green followed Stoinis soon while Finch and Sen Abbot made their way home in the same over.
It was McDermott, who eventually took the team over the line with a steady unbeaten 19-ball 22.
Earlier, Babar Azam’s 25th T20 fifty helped Pakistan with a strong base. Opening the batting with Mohammad Rizwan, the duo stitched 67 runs in only 7.4 overs. Australia pegged back through Cameron Green.
The debutant struck twice in two balls in his opening over with Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman his victims. Like Finch, Babar too steered his team until he fell in the 16th over. While Adam Zampa accounted for Babar, Ellis ran through Pakistan’s middle and lower order.
He snapped Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Shaheen Afridi before Usman Qadir hit an unbeaten 18 off 6 balls to take the team to 162/8.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 162/8 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 66, Khushdil Shah 24; Nathan Ellis 4-28) lost to Australia 163/7 in 19.1 overs (Aaron Finch 55, Travis Head 26; Shaheen Afridi 2-21, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-30) by three wickets.