Revised target of 119 from 15 overs set for Australia after rain delays first T20 against Pakistan

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Revised target of 119 from 15 overs set for Australia after rain delays first T20 against Pakistan

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl in the first of three Twenty20s against top-ranked Pakistan in Sydney on Sunday. — PCB Media Twitter

 

As rain delayed the first T-20 between Pakistan and Australia in Sydney on Sunday, a revised target of 119 runs from 15 overs was set for the hosts.

Rain delayed play after which the match was reduced to 15 overs of play per side.

Pakistan ended on 107 for 5 but play was halted for just over an hour mid-match, meaning Australia was set a revised target of 119.

Skipper Babar Azam led his side adding 59 runs on the scoreboard.

It was a decent recovery by the visitors after a terrible start when Fakhar Zaman was out first ball, hitting a swinging Mitchell Starc delivery straight to Steve Smith at backward point.

That brought Haris Sohail to the crease, but he made a poor decision in going after Kane Richardson too early, top-edging to Smith to leave the visitors struggling at 10 for two in the second over.

But Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steadied the ship and began building a solid partnership, pushing the scoreboard along with clever running between the wicket and quality shots.

They reached the 10-over mark at 64 for two but Rizwan fell soon after for an entertaining 31 after trying to clear the boundary rope off spinner Ashton Agar only to see Pat Cummins take an easy catch.

When they resumed at 88 for three in the thirteenth over after the rain break, Asif Ali fell to Richardson for 11 and Imad Wasim to Starc for a duck, leaving Azam to bring up his eleventh T20 half-century.

Earlier, Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first.

Australia are in form and fresh from a 3-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka, in contrast to Pakistan who were embarrassed by a second-string Sri Lanka at home across three matches last month.

That debacle cost Sarfaraz Ahmed his job as captain and a place in the squad, while experienced campaigners Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez were also axed in the shorter format.

The world’s number one ranked T20 batsman Azam is captaining the team as he tries to re-build for the World Cup next year.

Of note, 37-year-old seamer Mohammad Irfan features for the first time in more than three years.

Australia kept the same side that beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Friday.

“With a little bit of weather around we want to hopefully get some early wickets,” said skipper Aaron Finch, as the first raindrops of the day started to fall.

“They’ve got a really well-rounded side,” he added of Pakistan.

After Sydney, the series moves to Canberra on Tuesday before a final game in Perth before the sides face each other in two Tests.

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (capt), Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

Umpires: Gerard Abood (AUS and Paul Wilson (AUS) TV Umpire: Shawn Craig (AUS) Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

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