Pakistan won their first one-day international series against Australia in 20 years after a nine-wicket fight in the third match.
The home side won the series 2-1 after a depleted Australia were knocked out for 210 in 41.5 overs, and the chase ended 1-214 in 37.5 overs.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam made his second straight century in an unbeaten 105 and Imam-ul-Haq continued his dream run with an unbeaten 89.
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Australia have posted over 300 scores in the last two ODIs but crashed out of pace with Pakistan. Haris Rauf (3-39) and Shaheen Afridi (2-40) rocked the top order and fast young bowler Mohammad Wasim finished the bottom order to take 3-40.
Australia, without top players, surprisingly won the first match in which a century of Imam went in vain. But Babar and Imam combined brilliantly in the next two games, both scoring centuries in the second draw and then combining for an unbeaten 190 in the third.
“When you lose the first game, you need confidence, and credit goes to the players for stepping up in the last two games,” Babar said.
“Once Shaheen and Haris took those first wickets, it made things easier for us and put pressure on the opposition.”
The series victory lifted Pakistan to eighth place in the Super League, from which the top seven teams will qualify directly for next year’s Cricket World Cup in India. Australia finished fourth.
Babar and Imam joined in the fourth after Nathan Ellis found Fakhar Zaman’s leading edge at the 17th with an off cut and Marnus Labuschagne took a single hold midway through.
Both hitters dominated Australia’s seven-man attack, especially Babar, who hit 12 bounds in his 115-ball run.
Imam took his series total to 298 on another superb 100-ball hit, hitting six fours and a six.
Earlier, after being batted, Australia could not recover from losing two wickets before scoring a run. Afridi tossed Travis Head on first pitch for a low, full throw, and Haris trapped Aaron Finch for a second straight duck.
When Haris found the outside edge of Labuschagne’s bat, Australia were 3-6 inside the first six overs.
Alex Carey (55) and Cameron Green (34) rebuilt the innings with a stand of 81 runs. But Green was knocked down by Mohammad Wasim, and in the next Carey slammed into Fakhar in Afridi’s comeback spell.
Sean Abbott hit a brisk 49 from 40 with six fours and a six that took Australia’s total past 200. He was the last out.
“When you lose three in the first overs, it’s always going to be tough to get a total,” Finch said.
“We knew if we got 200 you’d probably never win the game unless everything went perfectly for you with the ball.”
Australia won the Test series 1-0 and will complete their first tour of Pakistan since 1998 with a unique Twenty20 on Tuesday.
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