Charge down the wicket with ODI cricket tips as Australia aim to take a 2-0 lead against Pakistan in the UAE.
22:00 (AEDT), Fri 22nd Mar @ Sharjah Cricket Stadium
History: Played 99: Australia 63 V Pakistan 32 (1 Tie, 3 No Result)
Last meeting: March 22, 2019: Australia d Pakistan by 8 wickets at Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Final Thoughts: Following their stunning ODI series win in India, Australia continue their World Cup preparations with a five-match showdown with Pakistan in the UAE.
Australia took a 1-0 lead with an impressive eight-wicket win in Sharjah, albeit against an under-strength Pakistan side.
Haris Sohail’s unbeaten century guided the hosts through to 5/280. Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile were expensive, but spinners Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon reined Pakistan’s run-rate in.
A 173-run stand from captain Aaron Finch (116) and Shaun Marsh (91*) ensured Australia’s chase was always under control. Peter Handscomb’s late cameo (30* from 27) saw the tourists home with an over to spare.
Finch and Marsh returning to form is a massive boost to Australia’s World Cup hopes.
Pakistan, sixth in the ODI rankings just one point shy of Australia, tied their home series against New Zealand 1-1 in November and were shaded 3-2 in South Africa in January. They shape as a real World Cup dark horse, but will be looking for some confidence-boosting results against Australia.
Australia have now won 10 of their last 11 one-dayers against Pakistan. Most recently, they won a home series 4-1 in early-2017. Australia have also won all four encounters at Sharjah since Pakistan began playing home matches in the UAE.
The Aussies are $1.58 favourites to take out game two, after going into the series opener at $1.73. After a staggering series against that included two centuries and two fifties, Usman Khawaja was out for 24 on Friday. But the rejuvenated opener looks a strong option to lead Australia’s bid for a 2-0 lead.