15 January, Melbourne
Pakistan on Sunday staged a strong comeback in the ongoing five-match ODI series against Australia as they defeated the host by six wickets here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Chasing a small target of 221, the visitors rode on the innings of all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez (72) and Shoaib Malik (42*) to ensure that they complete the chase with ease and level the series at 1-1.
Hafeez, who was leading the side in absence injured Azhar Ali, was adjudged Man of the Match. This was the first win for Pakistan in Australia in 12 years.
Earlier, the Steve Smith-led side, after electing to bat first, were bowled out for an average 220. Mohammad Amir took three wickets for Pakistan while Junaid Khan and Imad Wasim took two each as the visitors never let the Aussie batsmen settle down in the match.
Smith top-scored for his team with 60 runs. The host had beaten Pakistan by 92 runs in the 1st ODI.
After the match, Smith accepted that his team was outplayed by Pakistan in all the three departments.
“We went too hard with the bat and it was an ordinary effort in the first game as well but Wade bailed us out. We need to build a few more partnerships and stop losing wickets in clusters. We haven’t been playing our natural game against their spinners,” he said.
“It was going to be tough to defend this target but we tried as hard as we can. Probably we were 40 runs short on this wicket. We were outplayed by Pakistan. Lynn is a bit sore, so someone might come into the squad. Not sure yet and hopefully, we can play well in Perth,” he added.
The two sides will next lock horns on January 19 at the WACA, Perth.