Lahore, March 30 Australia thrashed Pakistan by 88 runs in the first ODI, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, here on Tuesday.
With this victory, Australia jumped to the fourth spot from seventh in the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League standings, with 70 points after 10 matches. On the other hand, Pakistan remained in the second half of the table, at the 11th position with 40 points.
Pakistan’s decision to bowl first backfired as Australia put up a daunting 313/7. Surviving a couple of close calls, openers Travis Head and Aaron Finch put on a 110-run stand to lay the foundation. After Finch’s dismissal, Head combined with Ben McDermott to bring up a half-century stand for the second wicket.
Head got a superb hundred off just 70 balls but was out soon after, with debutant Zahid Mehmood claiming the important scalp. However, crucial contributions from the middle and lower-middle order, including a 30-ball 40 not out from Cameron Green, helped Australia set Pakistan a 314-run target, an ICC report said.
In their reply, Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman (18) early in the chase but a 96-run partnership between Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam frustrated the Australian bowlers. Things turned around when Azam was out soon after he got his 18th ODI fifty.
Three more wickets fell in the next six overs. However, Imam-ul-Haq continued to plunder runs and brought up a splendid century that pushed Pakistan past the 200-run mark.
The hosts’ joy was short-lived, however, as debutant Ellis nailed Imam with a fiery yorker, and Pakistan slipped to 204/6. The home side imploded thereafter, with Adam Zampa going past 100 ODI wickets as Pakistan were bowled out for 225 runs.
The two remaining matches of the ODI series will be played at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on March 31 and April 2.
Brief scores: Australia 313/7 in 50 overs (Travis Head 101, Haris Rauf 2-44) beat Pakistan 225 in 45.2 overs (Imam ul Haq 103; Adam Zampa 4-38) by 88 runs.