Australia slammed Sri Lanka 3-0 and were brimming with confidence before their three-match T20I series over Pakistan. However, luck eluded them a wee bit in the first match at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Aaron Finch and Co were all set to win their fourth game on a row, before rain ended up playing spoilsport. The hosts were set a revised target of 119 in 15 overs due to the break.
In the third over of the run-chase, Finch accumulated 26 runs off Mohammad Irfan and took the Aussies over the DLS Par score. But after the first ball of the fourth over, the heavens opened up and play didn’t resume thereafter. The second T20I is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 5 at the Manuka Oval in Canberra and the home team will be hoping for the heavens to stay quiet.
Pitch and Conditions
The venue is yet to host a T20I, recently, but a match between Australia PM XI and Sri Lanka was played here. It was a tough wicket to bat on as both teams managed to score at around 6.50 per over. But going by the numbers in the nine ODIs, the average score is in excess of 300. Going by the recent games in Australia, a fairly decent strip can be expected. There are no chances of a downpour.
The Aussies are unlike to make any changes to their eleven, that looked more than clinical in the called-off encounter. David Warner has been able to made amends after some poor outings in the Ashes. Aaron Finch has also shown his true class in the four T20Is he has batted in off late. The Australian skipper scored 37 off 16 balls with five fours and two sixes before the rain interruption.
The middle-order hasn’t gotten much chances as the batters at the top has shown a great amount of domination. In the bowling department, Mitchell Starc is having a great time off late. Kane Richardson also performed well after failing a little in the series versus Lanka. Adam Zampa had an off day after being taken for 30 runs. Pacer Pat Cummins and Ashton Agar have impressed as well.
David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa
Pakistan should bring in Mohammad Hasnain, who can crank up the pace. The tall and lanky Mohammad Irfan may have to make way for him. Irfan was taken to the cleaners by Finch and the pacer ended up conceding 31 runs in the two overs he bowled. He was making his comeback after a gap of three years and the last game turned out to be equivalent to a nightmare for the speedster.
Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz are the other seamers in the lineup. The spin department will be shouldered by Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim. In batting, the focus will again be on Babar Azam, who impressed one and all with a sparkling 38-ball 59 at the SCG. Fakhar Zaman would wish for some runs after two golden ducks on the trot. Mohammad Rizwan looked good on comeback as well.
Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain
Probable Top Performers
David Warner – Australia | Babar Azam – Pakistan
TV– Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD
Online– Sony LIV
Match Timings – 19:10 local time, 13:40 IST (08:10 AM GMT)
The prediction is for Australia to win the match.
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