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02-Jul-2018 11:00:00 GMT
Pak vs Aus - 2nd match, Harare

Sizzling Stanlake, fiery Finch lead Australia to big win

Harare: Australia begin their T20 tri-series campaign with a crushing victory over Pakistan in Harare on Monday.

Big Billy sets Pakistan up with the ball, for captain Finchy to knock them down with the bat.

Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake demolished Pakistan's top order with four quick wickets Monday as they were held to 116 all out in the second match of the Zimbabwe Twenty20 Tri-Series.

Stanlake took 4 for 8 in his opening burst, the most economical spell by an Australian in T20 international cricket, and the second best ever behind James Faulkner's 5 for 27 the last time the two teams met.

Opening the bowling from the City End and extracting fearsome pace and bounce from the surface, Stanlake had Mohammad Hafeez fending the ball to Australia captain Aaron Finch at first slip with his third delivery.

Finch was back in the action two overs later, running from first slip to gully to take a stunning catch to remove Hussain Talat.

A rising leg stump delivery had Fakhar Zaman caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey, and when Sarfraz Ahmed presented a regulation chance to Finch at slip, Stanlake had his fourth and Pakistan were 24 for 4.

Brief scores:
Australia 117 for 1 (Finch 68*) beat Pakistan 116 (Shadab 29, Stanlake 4-8, Tye 3-38) by nine wickets

Shoaib Malik, who became the first male cricketer to play 100 T20Is in the match, briefly rallied alongside Asif Ali before a horrible mix-up led his run out for 13.

With Pakistan teetering at 47 for 5, Ali counter-attacked and launched a length delivery from medium pacer Marcus Stoinis clean out of the ground for six.

Needing only 117 for victory, Aaron Finch wasted no time in chasing down the modest total, blasting four fours and six maximums in his 68 not out. He smashed two huge sixes in a row, one ending up in the Australian change rooms, on the way to a 27-ball half-century.

Should his form continue in this T20 tri-series, Australia will be a huge chance to reclaim the T20 World No.1 ranking off Pakistan.

It’s never nice being hit out of the ground and despite Harare’s short boundaries, Asif Ali’s six off Marcus Stoinis would likely have cleared any ground such was the magnitude of the blow. But Stoinis put his head down and continued on, knocking out Asif’s off-stump just two balls later and giving him a send off to remember.

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