MELBOURNE: Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets in the second ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Powered by a solid start from Mohammad Hafeez and Sharjeel Khan and helped along by the middle-order, the Green Shirts sailed to a comfortable win over the hosts chasing the target of 221.
Hafeez’s aggressive knock of 72 ended but not before Pakistan looked well on track to achieve the target. Sharjeel Khan, after guiding Pakistan to a smooth start, fell for 29, with Pakistan at 68-1. Mohammad Hafeez, captaining the side in absence of injured Azhar Ali, fell to a Faulkner delivery by giving a catch at boundary.
Mohammad Amir earlier led the tally with three wickets, followed by left-arm pacer Junaid Khan who dealt double blows to Australia, getting both openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja out in quick succession. Junaid also ran out Starc with a deft throw. All-rounder Imad Wasim took two wickets.
Amir had Mitchell Marsh out for a golden duck, as Pakistan put the hosts on the defensive early into the game. Hasan Ali had Travis Head caught behind for 29, while Imad Wasim bowled out Glenn Maxwell for 23. Shoaib Malik bowled out Matthew Wade.
Fifty by Australia captain Steve Smith and a sure-footed stand by Brisbane centurion Matthew Wade helped Australia recover somewhat after Pakistan pace attack put the hosts on the defensive.
Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. Injuries forced Australia for a double change in their squad while Pakistan opted for three changes of their own.
After making their one-day debuts, Queensland batting-pair Chris Lynn and Billy Stanlake have been rested for batsman Usman Khawaja and returning paceman Josh Hazlewood.
“Chris Lynn has aggravated his neck again so he’s out,” Australia skipper Steve Smith said at the toss. “(Stanlake) is a little bit crook. I think he’s got a virus so he was struggling a bit the other night.
“Give him a couple of days rest and we’ve got big Hazlewood back which is a plus.”
Pakistan made three changes from the side that lost by 92 runs at the Gabba.
Mohammad Hafeez is captaining the tourists after regular skipper Azhar Ali was ruled out with a hamstring injury he suffered in the opening loss in Brisbane.
Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Nawaz were omitted with Junaid Khan, Asad Shafiq and Shoaib Malik coming into the starting XI.