A dejected Aaron Finch leads Australia off.
A dejected Aaron Finch leads Australia off.

Another start wasted: Australia outgunned in T20 final

AT one point with the bat, Australia was 0-95.

At another point Pakistan was 2-2.

By the end of the match, Pakistan had cruised home with six wickets and four balls to spare, taking out the tri-series final and reaffirming its status as the world's best T20I team off the back of a brilliant performace from Fakhar Zaman.

Set a target of 184 to win, Pakistan lost two wickets in the first over as Glenn Maxwell made the most of rare chance to use the new ball.

The spinner had Sahibzada Farhan stumped for 0 off a wide, with the 22-year-old debutant achieving the rare feat of falling with without facing a legitimate delivery. Maxwell then had Hussain Talat (0) caught at backward point, as Pakistan finished the first of its 20 overs at 2-3.

Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik turned the game on its head.
Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik turned the game on its head.

Talat's dismissal brought Sarfraz Ahmed out to the middle, and his arrival saw momentum swing back in Pakistan's direction. Alongside Fakhar Zaman, the captain added 46 runs off 28 balls for Pakistan's second wicket. It took a special bit of fielding from Jhye Richardson to account for Sarfraz, with the young quick conjuring a run-out from deep fine leg. The dismissal left Pakistan at 3-47 in the sixth over and victory looked an unlikely proposition.

Unfortunately for Australia, the series' form batsman, Fakhar, was still there and alongside Shoaib Malik he turned the match on its head.

The pair put on a 107-run stand in 63 balls, with Fakhar scoring a blazing 91 off 46. It was an innings punctuated by three sixes and 12 fours.

The Pakistanis went into the final 10 overs needing another 105 runs, and took control from there. The door opened was opened for them by a 10-ball over from Jack Wildermuth that featured four wides and went for 16 runs. In the next they helped themselves to 17 runs - with one bye - off Ashton Agar's first and only over. They took another 15 from the Andrew Tye over that followed.

In the space of three overs the match had completely changed complexion, with Pakistan reducing the chase to 57 off 42 balls.

Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman scored 91 off 46 balls.
Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman scored 91 off 46 balls.

By the time Fakhar perished at the end of 17th over, caught at deep point off the bowling of Richardson, Pakistan only required another 30 runs off four overs. There would be no further hiccups, with Malik (43 off 37) and Asif Ali (17 off 11) finishing off the chase with four balls to spare.

Australia's innings with the bat followed a similar path as it did with the ball, with Aaron Finch's men getting off to a brilliant start only to throw it away.

Alongside recalled opener D'Arcy Short (76 off 53), Finch put on 95 runs for Australia's opening stand.

Finch was the first man out, falling in the 10th over when he was caught at cover off the bowling of Shadab Khan. The captain connected sweetly with the shot but played it straight to the fielder. It set a trend for Australia's batsmen, with Short, Glenn Maxwell (5), Travis Head (19) and Marcus Stoinis (12) all falling in similar fashion.

Alex Carey on the other hand fell to arguably the catch of the series, with Shadab diving full length at mid-off to take a stunning grab with his right hand just centimetres off the ground, picking up a wicket for Faheem Ashraf.

Carey was one of five men to get out in the final four overs - alongside Carey, Head, Agar (7) and Tye (0) - in which Australia scored only 36 runs. It proved to be a crucial period in the match.