SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AFP) –
Opener Mohammad Hafeez hit a brilliant half-century to propel Pakistan to 244-7 in the third and final one-day against Australia at Sharjah Stadium here on Monday.
The 31-year-old right-hander hit 78 off 97-balls for his 13th one-day fifty — his first against Australia in eight matches — to help Pakistan post a challenging total after they were put in by Australia on a grass-less pitch.
Hafeez gave Pakistan a solid 129-run start with fellow opener Nasir Jamshed (48) as they carried on the momentum they gave their team during their seven-wicket win in the second match in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Australia had won the first match by four wickets here last week.
It looked Pakistan would post a big total but they were once again derailed by some sustained pace bowling by Mitchell Starc who finished with 4-51, taking his four wickets in the second spell.
Jamshed, who hit 97 at Abu Dhabi, was again at his fluent best as he hit six boundaries during his 75-ball knock.
Mitchell Johnson (2-33) provided Australia with the breakthrough when he had Jamshed caught behind and then had the promoted Shahid Afridi caught at deep mid-wicket for seven.
Once Hafeez fell, trapped leg-before by Michael Clarke in the 33rd over Pakistan were hard pressed for runs. Hafeez hit four boundaries and two sixes.
Starc, who took a career best 5-42 in the first match, then came into his own. The lanky left-arm paceman had Asad Shafiq (27) and Umar Akmal (nought) in the same over before ending skipper Misbah-ul Haq’s short 25 runs innings in the 47th over.
Azhar Ali made 27 not out.
Pakistan brought in Afridi in place of Sohail Tanveer after the allrounder missed the second game due to a back injury. Australia remained unchanged for the second match in a row.