Australia beat Pakistan in the first One Day International (ODI) at Sharjah Stadium on Friday. Australian skipper Aaron Finch’s century drove the team towards victory against Pakistan by eight wickets. Chasing the target of 281, Finch scored 116 runs off 135 balls which helped the Aussies to take a 1-0 lead against Pakistani squad in 49 overs on a flat pitch. Finch on the exceptional win of Australia said, “To be able to chase down the target for the loss of two wickets is nice. It’s nice to keep the momentum with a fourth win in a row”.
The match-winning partnership between Aaron Finch and Shaun March who scored unbeaten 91 off 102 balls paced the innings perfectly in the first ODI of five-match ODI series. Australia has fourth straight win in ODI format as earlier this month the squad beat India by 3-2 for the series triumph. Australia lost its first wicket in 11th over when Usman Khwaja was dismissed only for 24 runs by Faheem Ashraf. Finch hit four sixes and eight boundaries, added match- winning 172 run stand with Marsh before losing his wicket in 43rd over when Australia needed only 46 runs to win. The unstoppable Australian Captain was dismissed by Pakistan’s new pacer Mohammad Abbas but Peter Handscomb helped Marsh to cross the scoreboard by hitting 30 runs (not out). The innings by Aaron Finch even overshadowed Haris Sohail’s maiden century which leads Pakistan to build a total of 280 runs in 50 overs. Sohail took a single to complete his century in last over with overall knocking six boundaries and a six. Pakistan’s Imad Wasim hit four boundaries and a six in 13-ball unbeaten knock which helped his team to bag 55 runs in last five overs.
Pakistan’s stand-in captain Shoaib Malik while defending team’s defeat said, “We needed wickets at the top which did not come our way because Finch and Marsh handled the chase very well. Congrats to Haris for getting a hundred but we did not push Australia hard”.
Both the teams will next take on each other in the second ODI on Sunday at Sharjah Stadium. The third ODI match will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 27 while last two are scheduled Dubai on March 29 and March 31.