Pakistan receives lifeline in Sydney after rain keeps series level
A disappointed-Australia heads to Canberra with no advantage over their opposition after the first game in Sydney ended up being washed out. Pakistan were jumping for joy, the hosts on the other hand would’ve been overly frustrated as the game looked heavily in favor of them before the downpour arrived. Australia’s captain Aaron Finch looked in sublime-touch on 37 off just 16 deliveries, the in-form David Warner was at the non-strikers end just enjoying the show. With everything still to play for in this second T20I at Canberra, the Aussies won’t be backing down anytime soon. The tourists found it difficult to get away the Australian seamers, Kane Richardson was once again superb picking up 2/16 along with Mitchell Starc who has taken two wickets in all three of his T20I appearances this summer. Pat Cummins was held wicketless but went for just 15 runs in his three overs, the only bowler to be dispatched on the day was leggy Adam Zampa who the Pakistani’s attacked vigorously. As mentioned in their previous series against Sri Lanka, we haven’t seen much of Ashton Turner and Alex Carey with the bat due to the utter-dominance from Australia’s top order. Ben McDermott is likely to hold his spot in the middle-order, there doesn’t appear to be room for D’Arcy Short who plays as a specialist opener in this format. David Warner and Steve Smith will continue to be rather-large obstacles for opposition teams to get around, Sri Lanka struggled to nullify the pair which resulted in a 3-0 series defeat.
It wasn’t the start they would’ve initially been hoping for in their tour “down under”, but at the end of the day they probably got the best result possible which was a washout. Skipper & supremely-talented batsman Babar Azam led from the front with an unbeaten half century for Pakistan, lifting their total to 107/5 in a rain-affected innings. There were some classy shots played, but at the same time early wickets stifled their innings. Fakhar Zaman’s first-ball duck and Haris Sohail’s early departure left the visitors in a tricky situation, that was until Mohammad Rizwan helped steady the ship alongside Azam. Unfortunately the Australian public didn’t get to see the best of Pakistan, there’s plenty of expectation given that they are the No. 1 ranked T20 International side in the world. The Aussies absolutely latched on to the towering-giant that is Mohammad Irfan. Aaron Finch didn’t hold back, opening his shoulders and cracking four boundaries and two sixes off Irfan’s 2 overs. With the DLS coming into play, it was expected that Australia would come out all guns blazing. Does Irfan retain his spot though? Yes it was a revised game, but Finch dispatched him with ease which is concerning heading into the second game. Pakistan have some talented spinners in the form of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, expect them to play a vital role in Canberra.
TOP 5 FANTASY PICKS – 2nd T20I, Canberra
- Steve Smith
- Mitchell Starc
- Aaron Finch
- Pat Cummins
- David Warner
Wildcard pick – Alex Carey
- Babar Azam
- Mohammad Rizwan
- Shadab Khan
- Imad Wasim
- Haris Sohail
Wildcard pick – Fakhar Zaman
PREDICTED TEAM XI’S
Australia (possible) – 1. Aaron Finch (c) 2. David Warner 3. Steve Smith 4. Ben McDermott 5. Ashton Turner 6. Alex Carey (wk) 7. Ashton Agar 8. Pat Cummins 9. Mitchell Starc 10. Kane Richardson 11. Adam Zampa.
Pakistan (possible) – 1. Babar Azam (c) 2. Fakhar Zaman 3. Haris Sohail 4. Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 5. Asif Ali 6. Iftikhar Ahmed 7. Imad Wasim 8. Wahab Riaz 9. Shadab Khan 10. Mohammad Amir 11. Mohammad Irfan/Mohammad Hasnain.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.