Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets in series opener
22 Mar 2019
Australia’s Aaron Finch plays a shot against Pakistan during their first ODI match in Sharjah on Friday. Agence France-Presse
Sharjah: Aaron Finch fired a century as Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the first one-day international in Sharjah on Friday.
Captain Finch scored 116 to help Australia chase down a target of 281 in 49 overs. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb were both not out with respective scores of 91 and 30.
Pakistan’s total of 280-5 was built around by a maiden century from Haris Sohail.
Left-hander Sohail knocked his maiden one-day century in the first day-night international. The 30-year-old made 115-ball 101 not out in his comeback match after returning home from the South Africa tour with a knee injury last year, lifting Pakistan to a fighting total in their 50 overs.
Pakistan, having rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to give them break before the World Cup 2019, won the toss on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
Haris, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, added 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made 50-ball 49 in his first international match for two years.
Haris took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six. He made his previous best of 89 not out against Zimbabwe in Lahore in 2015.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masoor and Mohammad Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar, who last played for Pakistan in Australia in January 2017, smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Skipper Shoaib Malik fell for 11 and Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.