Matthew Wade completed a run-a-ball unbeaten century, getting to the mark off the last ball of the innings, to set up a 92-run victory for Australia over Pakistan in the first One-Day International between the two sides in Brisbane on Friday (January 13).
Wade boosted Australia from a precarious 78 for 5 to 268 for 9 with his first ODI century, and James Faulkner (4-32) and Pat Cummins (3-33) then did the bulk of the damage as Pakistan was bowled out for 176 in 42.4 overs.
Pakistan was on top with Australia five down in the 17th over before Wade and Glenn Maxwell (60 in 56 balls) put on 82 runs for the sixth wicket to lift the innings. Then, in the second half, Pakistan could not put any pressure on the Australians with Azhar Ali, the captain, doing his hamstring and Babar Azam the only one to look good in scoring 33 in 46 balls.
After Australia opted to bat, Mohammad Amir struck early with the key wickets of David Warner and Steven Smith off consecutive deliveries to have Australian on the mat at 13 for 2 in the fifth over.
Wade, who has been under pressure to score runs after a lean spell, especially in Test cricket, hit seven fours and two sixes in his knock. Maxwell was at his innovative best too, hitting reverse sweeps and hoicks on his way to seven boundaries before getting out when he tried to flick Hasan Ali but only lobbed a catch to Mohammad Hafeez. Wade, however, went on and in the company of the tail-enders, took Australia to a decent score.
In its reply, Pakistan got into trouble straightaway when it lost Sharjeel Khan for 18 off 22 balls, Faulkner getting his first wicket. Azhar then retired hurt only to return later with his team in complete disarray but only because one more of Faulkner’s victims after making 24 in 48 balls.
Azam, batting at No. 4, tried his best, hitting three boundaries, before edging to Smith at slip off Cummins.
There was little resistance outside of that apart from Imad Wasim’s entertaining 29 in 36 balls late in the script.
The second match in the five-ODI series will be played in Melbourne on Sunday.