Charge down the wicket with T20I cricket tips for the third and final encounter between on-fire Australia and wobbling world No.1 Pakistan.
19:30 (AEDT), Fri 8th Nov @ Optus Stadium, Perth
History: Played 22: Pakistan 12 V Australia 8 (1 Tie, 1 No Result)
Last meeting: November 5, 2019: Australia d Pakistan by 7 wickets at Manuka Oval
Final Thoughts: Australia are looking to maintain their blistering Twenty20 by wrapping up a 2-0 series win over out-of-sorts Pakistan.
The opening match was abandoned after initially being shortened to 15 overs, with Pakistan reaching an underwhelming 5/107. Babar Azam’s 59* off 38 was a highlight, however, while Kane Richardson took 2/16 off three overs. Australia, with Aaron Finch on 37* off 16, motored to 41 without loss after 3.1 overs when the fixture was called off.
Steve Smith led Australia to a seven-wicket win with nine balls to spare in Canberra on Tuesday. Babar Azam (50 off 38) and Iftikhar Ahmed (62* off 34) were outstanding for the tourists, but Ashton Agar (2/23), Pat Cummins (1/19) and Mitch Starc (0/25) ensured they only reached 6/150.
With David Warner’s (20 off 11) spectacular run of big scores coming to an end, Smith (80* off 51) produced a breath-taking man-of-the-match knock.
No.1-ranked Pakistan had a less-than-ideal build-up for this series, swept 3-0 at home by Sri Lanka last month. Pakistan’s best score in the three matches was 147.
Conversely, Australia came in with a head of steam thanks to three convincing victories over Sri Lanka in the previous week. The home side won by 134 runs, 9 wickets and 7 wickets. David Warner won three straight man-of-the-match awards with scores of 100*, 60* and 57*.
Pakistan came into this series on a five-match T20I winning streak against Australia. They scored a convincing 3-0 cleansweep in the UAE last October after batting first in each game.
Cummins will be rested, while Pakistan may move Iftikhar up the order. But neither change is enough to get behind Pakistan as a $4 outsider. If he can get in early enough, Smith shapes as solid value to top-score for the second straight match.