Australia’s players celebrate after the dismissal of Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam (not pictured) during the T20I between Pakistan and Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore. — AFP
LAHORE: Australia skipper Aaron Finch scored a timely half-century as they concluded their tour of Pakistan with a three-wicket win over the hosts in a one-off Twenty20 international match in Lahore on Tuesday.
Finch, who has struggled for runs and failed to score in the last two games of the three-match one-day international series, returned to form with a 45-ball 55 as Australia overcame some nervy moments late on to successfully chase 163.
The captain departed in the penultimate over as he looked to finish with a flourish, only to find Asif Ali in the deep before Shaheen Shah Afridi castled next man in Sean Abbott three balls later, but Australia got home with five balls to spare.
Asked to bat first, Pakistan rode on a 46-ball 66 by skipper Babar Azam but a middle-order collapse and some fine bowling by Australia pace bowler Nathan Ellis (4-28) meant they eventually fell short of a challenging total with 162-8 in 20 overs.
Babar smashed six fours and two massive sixes in his knock and the 27-year-old was well supported by fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan who made 23 before Pakistan lost their way until Khushdil Shah’s 24 and some late fireworks by Usman Qadir at the end.
On their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years, Australia won the test series 1-0 but the hosts prevailed in ODIs.