Australia down Pakistan to complete 5-0 clean sweep - GulfToday

Australia down Pakistan to complete 5-0 clean sweep

Usman-khawaja

Australia’s Usman Khawaja plays a shot against Pakistan during their fifth ODI match on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

Dubai: A rampant Australia defeated Pakistan  by 20 runs in the fifth ODI to complete a 5-0 clean sweep in the five-match series in Dubai on Sunday.

After posting an imposing total of 327/7, Australia restricted Pakistan to 307/7 in their allotted 50 overs.

Earlier, opener Usman Khawaja missed a deserved hundred by two runs as Australia punished Pakistan in the fifth and final one-day international in Dubai on Sunday.

Khawaja was all set for his third hundred this month but fell for 98 which lifted Australia to an imposing 327-7 in 50 overs after they were sent into bat on a flat Dubai stadium pitch.

Glenn Maxwell celebrated his 100th one-day international with a thumping 33-ball 70, Shaun Marsh scored 68-ball 61 and skipper Aaron Finch made 69-ball 53 to lead a run spree against a hapless Pakistan bowling attack.

It was Maxwell’s ten fours and three sixes that helped Australia to 107 runs in the last ten overs. He was finally bowled by paceman Junaid Khan who finished with three wickets for 73.

Khawaja, who hit ten boundaries in his 111-ball innings, set the platform with a solid 134-run opening stand with Finch for pair’s second hundred run stand in the series, which Australia lead 4-0.

Finch was finally bowled by pacer Usman Shinwari, finishing with 451 runs in the series, only 27 short of George Bailey’s record in a bilateral series he made against India in 2013.

Khawaja, who made his first two ODI career hundreds in India earlier this month, was all set for his third but fell to a miscued drive off Shinwari, who finished with 4-49.

Khawaja added 80 for the second wicket with Marsh who hit five fours and a six in his 68-ball knock.

Pakistan were once again with skipper Shoaib Malik, who was rested after failing to fully recover from a rib injury which also forced him to miss the last game on Friday.

Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas came in for Mohammad Hasnain while Australia replaced Nathan Coulter-Nile with Jason Behrendorff.

Meanwhile, Australia’s top bowlers Sunday lashed out at “false” and “inflammatory” claims they were planning a Test boycott if David Warner had not been kicked off the team in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

 Warner was widely seen as the instigator of the plot to use sandpaper to alter the ball during the third Test in Cape Town last year, with rookie opener Cameron Bancroft carrying out plan and then-captain Steve Smith turning a blind eye.

 The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday that Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon all intended to pull out of the fourth Test if Warner was not removed.

 The newspaper, citing multiple sources, said it “highlights the extent of the fracture within the dressing-room in the immediate aftermath”.

 But a statement from the quartet Sunday denied a boycott had been considered and, with Smith and Warner now free to play again after their one-year bans expired on Friday, the bowlers said they were focused on “moving forward”.

 “The article claims we intended to withdraw from the fourth Test during last year’s tour of South Africa had David Warner been free to play,” the statement said.

 “This claim is disappointing on a number of fronts but most importantly because it is false.”

 It added that allegations “which question our relationship with David are inflammatory and misleading”.

 “As a team we are all focused on moving forward together and helping the Australian men’s team prepare for the World Cup and the Ashes.”

 Smith and Warner’s reintegration into the international fold has already begun with the pair meeting the one-day team in Dubai this month as they gear up for the World Cup in England. Lyon and Cummins were present, but the injured Starc and Hazlewood were not.

 Asked on Thursday whether Warner’s return would be disruptive, Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts compared the situation to any other workplace.

 “What we’re focused on is doing everything we can to support Dave, Steve, Cameron and all of the other support staff with this integration... to build harmony rather than to disrupt the harmony that is building,” he said.

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