Superb Zaman blasts Pakistan to tri-series final win over Australia

Grant SmithJul 09, 2018

That game was Australia's first loss in the series, after which they bounced back well to beat Zimbabwe by five wickets on Friday, to get back to winning.

For Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman has been the man in form as he has hit two half-centuries in four innings, including a 42-ball 73 in his last match against Australia.

"He's been brilliant. Finchy and I spoke privately yesterday and I told him he's done a great job at the top of the order".

But the left-hander had played a pivotal role a match earlier against the home side with a 42-ball 46, ensuring captain Aaron Finch received the lion's share of the strike in their 223-run first-wicket stand, the biggest partnership in T20 global history. He looks to be a sure starter in the final.

In the latest player rankings, which also takes into account India's 2-0 and 2-1 series win against Ireland and England, respectively, Finch leads Pakistan's left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman by 45 points.

The match turned out to be very interesting.

"We know they're an emotional team, and they're a highly skilled team", said Australia captain Aaron Finch.

Fakhar was the major beneficiary, flashing nine boundaries and a trio of sixes on the way to the highest score of his T20I career thus far - he is Pakistan's leading run-maker in this tournament by a distance, and will require far more careful planning by Australia's pacemen and coaches ahead of the decider.

Among the bowlers, legspinners Rashid Khan and Shadab Khan retained the top two positions but there were movements down the table. They now have 12 points from four matches, Australia are on eight and play their last match against Zimbabwe this morning and enjoy a superior run rate of 2.421 against Pakistan.

Talat went on to score 30 and contributed to a 72-run stand with Zaman for the second wicket before he was bowled by offspinner Maxwell. "Guys had really good plans, but just missed slightly, and that's all it needs to be in T20 cricket against good players", Finch concluded.

Apart from Zaman, Pakistan's experienced batsman Shoaib Malik scored an unbeaten 43 off 37 balls.

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (w), Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Jack Wildermuth, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Swepson, D Arcy Short, Kane Richardson.

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