Category Archive: Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan Cricket News

May 16

Misbah and Younis did more than serve Pakistan – they served cricket

One of the great Test partnerships has ended with the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who carried Pakistan through their darkest years

Some retirements leave you feeling older all of a sudden, as if time has just moved on in a leap. There were two such on Sunday night. Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan played their final games, a Test against West Indies at Windsor Park in Dominica.

Related: David Warner’s Ashes power play strikes blow for players left behind | Vic Marks

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Apr 05

Wisden accolade caps stellar year for Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes

• England player is named as one of publication’s five cricketers of the years
• Others are Ben Duckett, Toby Roland-Jones, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan

Chris Woakes of Warwickshire has been named as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year to cap a stellar 12 months in which he went from the brink of the international scrap heap to playing a central role in England’s Test and one-day teams.

He is named in the quintet along with Ben Duckett, rewarded for his 2,706-run summer for Northamptonshire and England Lions, Toby Roland-Jones, the seamer whose wickets helped Middlesex win the County Championship, and Pakistan’s two veteran batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

Related: Chris Woakes: ‘The IPL is a one-off opportunity I can’t turn down’

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Mar 26

Al-Qaida leader behind Islamabad hotel bomb ‘killed by US drone’

Qari Yasin is believed to be linked to the 2008 Marriott atrocity and the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus

An al-Qaida leader believed to be responsible for the 2008 Marriott hotel bombing in Islamabad and the deadly attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009 has been killed by a US air strike, the Pentagon claims.

The drone attack on Qari Yasin, “a well-known terrorist leader” with ties to the Pakistan Taliban, took place on 19 March in Paktika province, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Related: The Spin | The first step on a long, difficult but welcome road back to cricket in Pakistan

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Mar 07

The Spin | The first step on a long, difficult but welcome road back to cricket in Pakistan

The news that Pakistan is to host international cricket again in September will be greeted with joy in that country and with caution elsewhere, but can only be good news for the game

Last Sunday there were a dozen games of cricket going on in one place or another, domestic fixtures in towns and cities across Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe, a one-day international in North Sound, Antigua, another, between two women’s teams, in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, and the second Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru. Then there was the final of the Pakistan Super League, between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, another ring-a-ding franchise match in one of the world’s many Twenty20 leagues, a game which might have passed unremarked but that it was being held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Some matches are about more than who wins, who loses, and who scores how many. The location made the game between Quetta and Peshawar one of them.

Related: Pakistan to host international cricket again with T20 series versus World XI

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Mar 06

Pakistan to host international cricket again with T20 series versus World XI

• Four-match Independence Cup series to take place in Lahore in September
• Giles Clarke: ‘The terrorists cannot win – cricket must not give up on Pakistan’

The International Cricket Council is planning to send a World XI to Pakistan in late September for a four-match Twenty20 series in Lahore that will look to build on the successful staging of the Pakistan Super League final in the city on Sunday.

The four-match series at the Gaddafi Stadium – to be called The Independence Cup to mark the 70th anniversary of partition – is intended to continue the reintroduction of top-level cricket to the country after a near eight-year hiatus. The break resulted from the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 and has meant Pakistan, bar one series against Zimbabwe two years ago, have played home internationals at neutral venues.

Related: Joe Root and Chris Woakes save England to seal series win over West Indies

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Feb 21

Lancashire re-sign Junaid for T20 Blast

Pakistan pace bowler Junaid Khan will rejoin Lancashire Lightning for their T20 Blast matches in the 2017 season.

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Feb 19

Afridi quits international cricket

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi retires from international cricket, but will continue to play domestically.

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Feb 19

Pakistan & Sri Lanka reach World Cup

Pakistan and Sri Lanka clinch the last two places for this summer’s ICC Women’s World Cup, which is being played in England.

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Feb 15

Jamshed arrested over spot-fixing claims

Pakistan batsman Nasir Jamshed is one of two men who were arrested by UK investigators in connection with alleged corruption, the BBC understands.

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Feb 13

Jamshed provisionally suspended by PCB

Batsman Nasir Jamshed is provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket for violating the Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code.

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Feb 10

Pakistan suspend Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif over match-fixing concerns

• Pakistan T20 openers caught up in domestic investigation
• Authorities say ‘syndicate attempting to corrupt Pakistan Super League’

Pakistan’s two opening batsmen in their nine-wicket Twenty20 win against England last year have been provisionally suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board as part of a domestic match-fixing investigation.

Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif scored 59 runs apiece in that victory at Old Trafford in September but are playing for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League T20 competition.

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Feb 10

Pakistan duo provisionally suspended

Pakistan’s Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif provisionally suspended from the Pakistan Super League in ongoing anti-corruption investigation.

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Feb 09

Azhar steps down as Pakistan ODI captain

Azhar Ali steps down as Pakistan’s ODI captain after their 4-1 series defeat by Australia, and is replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed.

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Jan 26

Warner & Head put on 284 in Aussie win

Australia’s David Warner and Travis Head put on 284 for the first wicket to lay the foundations for a 57-run win over Pakistan.

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Jan 22

Australia v Pakistan: fourth one-day international – live!

10.03am GMT

34th over: Pakistan 201-4 (Malik 38, Akmal 8)

Single, single, single, then Wade botches a run out. Akmal gets down low and sweeps Head with the paddle variety to fine leg. Starc makes ground fast. The batsmen turn for a third, Starc throws in a deadly flat fast return. On the direct hit it would have Malik cold, but it just misses from the boundary. Wade is behind the stumps to take the ball. Even then he would have had time to knock off the bails, but the ball escapes his hands and bobbles around up on top of his wrists. He’s trying to get it into his gloves, and eventually gives up and punches the stumps with the ball on his arms. Which I’m pretty sure means any run out wouldn’t count anyway, as the fieldsman has to have the ball in hand.

9.57am GMT

33rd over: Pakistan 195-4 (Malik 36, Akmal 4)

What an over from Hazlewood. Sure, Malik smeared a couple into midwicket from one ball, but it was the shot of a man with no idea. Hazlewood is hanging back of a length, right on off stump, generating bounce and bowling with pace. It’s hard to lay bat on him. Malik is beaten again, then finally glides an STTM. Umar Akmal drives and is done in completely, the ball missing his inside edge by a fraction, his off stump be another fraction. Deserved to be clean bowled, but he’s still there.

9.52am GMT

32nd over: Pakistan 191-4 (Malik 33, Akmal 4)

That’s more like it for Pakistan. If they’d been able to take six singles from the last Zampa over, they might still have Hafeez with them. Malik and Akmal do it well, driving with the spin into the off side for each of the runs, ticking the numbers off. That required rate though is up at nine per over now.

9.51am GMT

Here’s a pair of Australian men, Adam Zampa and Steve Smith, looking very happy after the former dismissed Sharjeel Khan for 74.

9.48am GMT

31st over: Pakistan 185-4 (Malik 30, Akmal 1)

Hazlewood back immediately to try and put some pressure on Umar Akmal. Get him and it really is game over. Akmal starts sensibly, facing out four balls of that over either side of two singles with a straight bat.

9.46am GMT

30th over: Pakistan 183-4 (Malik 29)

You could feel it in your waters. Another wicket from the last ball of an over, and it was the preceding five that brought about the fall. Steve Smith had swung Zampa around to the other end for this spell so that the long side of the ground was also the leg side for these two right-handers. Clever. So was Zampa’s bowling, backed up by sharp infielding. Malik’s dot balls mounted up, and with two singles from that over so far, Hafeez felt obliged to try something when he got back on strike for the last ball. Went for the slog sweep again, but this time he couldn’t go the distance beyond deep midwicket.

9.40am GMT

29th over: Pakistan 181-3 (Hafeez 39, Malik 28)

Malik stil struggling against Cummins. Three balls to find a single this time, can’t find room when Cummins has a good line at his body. He forces a run into the covers, Hafeez gets an STTM, Cummins gets a bit too straight and Malik picks off two to fine leg.

9.38am GMT

28th over: Pakistan 177-3 (Hafeez 38, Malik 25)

Adam Zampa, coming back into this contest well. Nearly draws the top edge from Hafeez on the cut. Two singles from the over. Pakistan can’t afford these. They need to stay well ahead of the rate. They have reached the halfway mark of this chase though, with not much more than half the overs gone, and seven wickets still in hand.

9.33am GMT

27th over: Pakistan 175-3 (Hafeez 37, Malik 24)

The low-scoring pressure starts to tell very quickly in a game like this. Malik did get off strike against Cummins first ball, tugging it around the corner as the line wasn’t quite right, but he’s nearly run out from the next, as Hafeez plays to point and Malik comes too far down and is struggling to get back. Maxwell missed, but the batsman would just have been home. Just. They mount a comeback, in this intra-over battle. Hafeez with the STTM. Malik drags a couple to the leg side. Ducks under a bouncer next, but Cummins messes up the end of the over, too much width on the short ball, and Malik cracks four through point to ease the pressure. The 27th over has never been so tense.

9.29am GMT

26th over: Pakistan 167-3 (Hafeez 36, Malik 17)

Zampa turns the screws. Malik again. They can’t afford this, he was finding the singles with ease early on and how he’s blocked up. Two from the over, Malik 17 off 30 when they need nearly 8 an over.

9.27am GMT

25th over: Pakistan 165-3 (Hafeez 35, Malik 16)

Malik struggling with Cummins. You can bet the Aussies will have taken note of that. It takes Malik three balls to get off strike, using the classic STTM, then Hafeez immediately gives it back and Malik faces two more dots. Two runs from the over. Every six balls seems to change the complexion of this chase.

9.24am GMT

24th over: Pakistan 163-3 (Hafeez 34, Malik 15)

Head continues, he’s bowled eight of his overs on the trot now. Glenn Maxwell hasn’t been used at all this series with the ball, Head is the preferred part-time spinner for the moment. The Pakistan pair are working the singles well now, all to the leg side: long on, fine leg, midwicket. Then to the last ball Hafeez decides to go off side, and tries clearing mid off. Just makes it. Dicey shot, but he gets the four runs. Nine from the over, another good one for the chasers. Australia was 133-1 at this point.

9.18am GMT

23rd over: Pakistan 154-3 (Hafeez 28, Malik 12)

There’s the difference – Starc is slashed through cover by Hafeez for four. Sometimes the more dangerous fast bowler can have more runs taken from them, I’m guessing because the batsman has less time to think and is on higher alert. Instinctive shots come out, while spinners can leave too much time to think, too many options. Three singles, seven from the over, Pakistan need an even 200 from 162 balls.

9.14am GMT

22nd over: Pakistan 147-3 (Hafeez 23, Malik 10)

Another quiet over from the green and gold’s Head Boy. He’s one of those deceptive bowlers, in that he doesn’t look like he’s doing anything but teams find it hard to score off him. Either that or they’re just being very careful when he’s on. Three singles.

9.09am GMT

21st over: Pakistan 144-3 (Hafeez 22, Malik 8)

Starc returns, Smith looking for a wicket. The strike bowler has overs to spare, he was dragged after his first three went for 24 runs. His first ball back goes for runs too, full and perfectly driven by Hafeez straight. The chasers think they’ll get there but the outfield is very accommodating to the batting side today, and that ball just skates on over the rope with a giggle and a skip. A couple of singles on top, and that makes it another decent over for Pakistan.

9.06am GMT

20th over: Pakistan 138-3 (Hafeez 17, Malik 7)

Malik is a good player to milk this singles, if you’ve got someone going harder at the other end. Hafeez is happy to be that guy, reaching for a very wide ball from Head and lifting it over backward point. Looked dicey, thought it was a chance for a second there, btu it floated over the potential catcher. Three runs down to deep backward, six from the over. Head is going at 6.66 an over, Zampa at 7.50.

9.02am GMT

19th over: Pakistan 132-3 (Hafeez 13, Malik 5)

The answer? Hit sixes. Hafeez does to Zampa what Sharjeel could not, slog-sweeping him cleanly into the crowd. The difference? Sharjeel was going to the long side of the ground as a left-hander, Hafeez has the short. Also Zampa’s ball to Sharjeel reached him very full, and Hafeez has a bit more room to get under this. Great timing. Three singles from the over as well.

8.58am GMT

18th over: Pakistan 123-3 (Hafeez 6, Malik 3)

A moment for a breather, three singles from Head’s over as Hafeez and Malik work out what to do next.

8.57am GMT

17th over: Pakistan 120-3 (Hafeez 5, Malik 1)

Malik is off the mark first ball, the last of the over, pushing Zampa through point. He’s batted well this series, Shoaib Malik, but a massive job ahead. Another 234 runs from 33 overs, which requires going at 7 per over from here. That’s where Pakistan is, thanks to Sharjeel, but this pair will have to maintain at least five to six through the middle overs to give themselves any chance at the end. Or is it better to keep attacking now, and make the end easier?

8.54am GMT

Not long enough, is the answer. Zampa bowls a few balls for singles, Sharjeel goes for the slog sweep, and doesn’t quite time it. More toe of the bat than blade. Even then, his immense power is enough to have that ball nearly carry the rope down at cow corner, but he wanted it to go squarer, and David Warner is fast enough to get around into position and take the catch just inside the rope.

8.52am GMT

16th over: Pakistan 116-2 (Sharjeel 73, Hafeez 3)

SIX! That is absolutely massive! How do I do this without exclamation marks! Head drops a bit short, Sharjeel lands that ball in the top of the SCG grandstand with the pull shot. Wowsers. Then Head turns the ball across him, Sharjeel drives, and edges four. Twice in a row. Then the off-strike nudge again, and Hafeez punches another single. 17 from the over, how long can Sharjeel keep this up?

8.48am GMT

15th over: Pakistan 99-2 (Sharjeel 58, Hafeez 1)

Well, someone had to match the Australians, and here’s one of those fast fifties at least. Sharjeel might need to match all three though, given the relative lack of hitters below. He drives Zampa for a single first ball of the over to reach the milestone, gets stike back as Hafeez gets off the mark to the off-side, then sagely watches a wide pass by his pad, before launching into a pull shot. The timing is accidentally perfect, landing just in front of Head diving forward to try to take the catch at deep midwicket, but the ball bounces in front and scoots through. Next ball, the perfect placement is entirely deliberate, as Sharjeel drives perfectly through the cover field and splits the two fielders for four more! Then the sensible single.

8.42am GMT

14th over: Pakistan 88-2 (Sharjeel 49)

A classic bit of inexperience, I’m afraid. Sharjeel is going beautifully, and charges to thump Head way into the crowd over long on. Then sensibly gets the single. But Babar gets over-excited and tries to match his batting partner. He also charges, but drags across the line of the ball at the last second, rather than hitting straighter, and can can only pull the drive wider to long on where the catcher awaits.

8.37am GMT

13th over: Pakistan 81-1 (Sharjeel 42, Babar 31)

Adam Zampa is finally into the side, and into the attack, the leg-spinner who was among Australia’s leading ODI wicket-takers here. Babar is off strike easily, but the left-hander Sharjeel is beaten by his first ball, and is sufficiently chastened to treat the next two with respect. That’s as long as he’ll wait, because Zampa drops short and Sharjeel is able to swat that ball away through square leg for another four. Then taps a single to cover from the last of the over.

8.34am GMT

12th over: Pakistan 75-1 (Sharjeel 37, Babar 30)

Another nondescript over of Head off-spin, this one handled better by the batsmen who milk five singles from it.

8.33am GMT

11th over: Pakistan 70-1 (Sharjeel 35, Babar 27)

Suddenly the clamps have been applied. A combination of Cummins’ short bowling with an improved line plus some good Australian ground fielding, keep Pakistan to two singles this over, the second of them precariously from Babar’s top edge to a gap at midwicket.

8.29am GMT

10th over: Pakistan 68-1 (Sharjeel 34, Babar 26)

Travis Head on very early for some off-spin, and he starts well, only two singles from the first two balls, both tapped into the midwicket gap.

8.28am GMT

9th over: Pakistan 66-1 (Sharjeel 33, Babar 25)

What. A. Shot. I’m posting the video below because you have to see that. The perfect cut shot from Babar Azam; Cummins gave width and plenty of speed, and Babar made use of both, whipping his wrists almost from underneath that ball, and timing the spanking of it so supremely that it was at the boundary before you could blink. That is so clean. It’s the third ball of the over, and so forces Cummins to push forward his previously short length. Babar takes advantage by driving three through midwicket. This is an artful knock. Australia was 59-0 at this point.

Babar looks in great touch out there #AUSvPAK

8.21am GMT

8th over: Pakistan 59-1 (Sharjeel 33, Babar 18)

Shawwwwwt. Babar Azam is like a plastic surgeon – he knows that patience will deliver reward. Defends Hazlewood, is beaten, leaves… then gets one full enough, and drives it sumptuously down the ground for four. Holds the pose until the ball hits the fence, and fair enough too for that shot. Sharjeel is less pretty, equally effective: there’s no slip, and Sharjeel’s drive maybe wasn’t supposed to quite that fine, but certainly behind point, and he enough of an edge for another four. Hazlewood doesn’t know what to do. He’s gone for 32 runs in his full 10 overs in the last two games; today he’s gone for 32 in his first four.

8.16am GMT

7th over: Pakistan 50-1 (Sharjeel 29, Babar 13)

Time for Pat Cummins to get involved. Blue-eyed, wind in his hair, he looks like he should be sweeping Irish girls off their feet in some mediaeval cinema epic. Babar deals with him competently enough, just running the single to third man again. Suspect that whoever fields down there will get a work-out today. Sharjeel pulls out the flip again, but they have a man back for him now, and it’s only worth a run this time. Babar goes to third man again. Can I have an acronym? STTM? The fifty is up.

8.10am GMT

6th over: Pakistan 47-1 (Sharjeel 28, Babar 11)

Thunk! That one goes for six, first ball of the Hazlehoff over, and he gets very full to Sharjeel. Thanks, says the counterslasher, and drives woodily over long-on and over the rope. Hazlewood pulls the length back, and Sharjeel cuts two runs, running hard to get back. He’s doing this well. Now Josh is mad. He cranks up the pace, real effort ball, much shorter and angle across from the right-arm over position. Sharjeel tries to flay it away over gully but it’s too good for him, it zips through to the keeper without the bat getting anywhere near it. That was a top comeback. But Sharjeel is able to run a single to third man next ball, so the pressure doesn’t build. Then Babar gives him the strike back with a leg glance, and Sharjeel caps off the over with a beauty. Across his stumps, gets a ball on his hip, and though it’s not super short he’s able to play that flip-pull that lifts the ball over short fine leg and away for four more. I don’t like using exclamation marks but I nearly went for two in one post there. Disgusting. 14 off a Hazlewood over can make a man do strange things.

8.05am GMT

5th over: Pakistan 33-1 (Sharjeel 15, Babar 10)

Whooshka! Up and over second slip as Babar flings the bat at Starc outside off. There were seven lords a-leaping in that slip cordon, but none of them could climb the mime’s stepladder and get the elevation required. Instead, they crashed into each other: more a case of ‘excuse my while I kiss this guy’ than ‘kiss the sky’. Babar plays a single to third man, this time deliberately, and Starc mixes up his lines as the batting combo switches over, plunging a ball down Sharjeel’s leg side. Sharjeel keeps strike with a pull for one.

8.01am GMT

4th over: Pakistan 26-1 (Sharjeel 14, Babar 5)

Width from Hazlewood, a full length as well, and Babar takes up the opportunity to cover-drive his first ball for four. He made 84 in his last outing, in the process equalling the record for the fastest to 1000 ODI runs in terms of innings batted. And made more in those 21 innings than all but Sir Viv. Forgive me posting my own stuff, but here’s one I prepared earlier.

Most runs in first 21 ODI innings:

de Kock – 1001
Pietersen – 1005
Trott – 1028
Richards – 1059#AusvPak

7.56am GMT

3rd over: Pakistan 21-1 (Sharjeel 14, Babar 0)

You have to love Sharjeel’s commitment to the eradication of subtlety. Starc pitches up, a bit of wobble in the air, and Sharjeel indicates that he does not care by smacking it over cover for four. Left-arm over to left-hand-all-over-the-park, Sharjeel having just pulled a couple through midwicket. He misses out on the full toss from the last ball, though to be fair Starc does get a lot of wickets when his full toss swings through defences and into the stumps at 150 clicks.

7.52am GMT

2nd over: Pakistan 15-1 (Sharjeel 8)

Things are always likely to slow down with the introduction of Josh Hazlewood, who hands out runs like a mean uncle hands out lollies. He gives away one loose ball, on the pads that Azhar punishes for four through square leg, but then Australia’s King of Parsimony pins Azhar to the crease for the next few balls, a hint of swing in the air as well, and eventually pushes the last ball of the over full enough to invite the drive, and end in the hands of Smith coming across the front of first slip.

7.48am GMT

1st over: Pakistan 11-0 (Azhar 3, Sharjeel 8)

Well, let’s get on with it. Lucky for Pakistan they have Azhar Ali back, he’ll be essential for holding things together if there’s to be any chance of a chase. And Sharjeel will need to provide a special. They get the right start, despite a good first three balls from Starc, full and swinging. The fourth ball, Azhar times well on the up, driving three runs through cover. Sharjeel gets a fast full toss outside his off stump, and nicks it fine enough to beat the diving third man. Then he clumps a full ball down through long off for another four.

7.45am GMT

I know it’s been said but… how about that fielding? It was actually the worst I’ve ever seen, for sheer consistency of ineptitude. It’s not like Pakistan doesn’t train a lot on catching and ground fielding – Mickey Arthur has said before that they’re constantly aware of the mistakes on the field, and work with great focus to improve it. So is it just psychological? They get into a match situation and suddenly it all falls apart?

Meantime, Warner made 50 off 35 balls, Head 50 off 35, and Maxwell 50 off 34. Outrageous combo. Glorious that Adam Collins and myself should be sharing the OBO for the Maxwell show though, two of the least abashed fans around. Straya added 118 runs from the last 10 overs. What?

7.41am GMT

Thank you, Adam – yes indeed, Geoff Lemon here for what will undoubtedly be a thrilling and historic victory for the Pakistan side. So many times in years to come they will say, where were you when… and you will say, I was somewhere boring but I was reading along on the OBO. And all will be agog to hear your tale. All that and more coming your way very, very soon, as the action is about to restart.

7.21am GMT

They couldn’t have planned that much better. Coming into the day, Warner was the one Australian player out of runs somewhere. The response? A wonderful hundred. He looked the man most nicely from the moment he came to the crease, routinely crashing the Pakistan seamers past point with ease.

Smith’s 49 was brisk and forceful alongside his vice-captain before they fell in the same over, but the damage was done for the Pakistan side. Not helped by constant dropped catches, basic misfields and a general sense of disarray.

7.13am GMT

Maxwell holes out to the final ball of the innings, but not before taking 14 from it. It included yet more embarrassment for Pakistan, through Shoaib’s legs at mid-on, four scored to Maxwell. Next ball, yet another one made into two – and why wouldn’t they take on the field every time now? Maxwell realising fine leg is up, he turns a ball from middle stump around the corner for four more. This is really ugly. And uglier: the 350 up when Maxwell makes room to dig a yorker right back over Hasan’s head. He’s liked that too.

7.08am GMT

Wade doesn’t get enough of Hasan, it taken relatively easily at long-on by Imad. Given the dropped catches off Imad when he was at the bowling crease – two by the man he just secured a wicket for then – I’m sure a word will be had in the huddle. I hope so.

7.06am GMT

49th over: Australia 339-4 (Maxwell 64, Wade 5). After failing to find the rope in the 48th, Maxwell does on the second ball of the 49th when accessing a ball from off-stump to take it behind square. Such skill. Next u: the captain misfields at mid-off, as if foretold. The Pakistan bowlers have been dealt some terrible cards today by those around them. To the fifth ball Maxwell somehow grabs a yorker well outside off-stump to the point boundary after moving himself away to outside leg. How did he reach that, let alone middle it? What a guy. To end the over, with mid-off still up, the Big Show smashes past him with his hardest hit shot yet. 15 from it. 350 still very much on here.

7.02am GMT

48th over: Australia 324-4 (Maxwell 50, Wade 4). Hasan, maligned when in the field but magnificent with the ball, prevents more than a single to be taken across the first four balls of his over. Maxwell digs out a yorker over cover – as he does – for a couple, before another two to end the over down the ground after a misfield gets Maxwell a half-century! 34 balls. Much like Head, he really did his job here in the final 15 after those two quick wickets.

6.57am GMT

47th over: Australia 316-4 (Maxwell 44, Wade 2). Rapid running between Wade and Maxwell gets two after the dismissal of Head. 1/75 the final figures for Amir.

Handscomb playing as a specialist backup wicket-keeper. #AUSvPAK

6.54am GMT

The ball after Head reached his 50 with an imposing six – his forth over midwicket, walking at the bowler Amir before delivery – he’s caught in the deep. Didn’t get enough of that second attempt, the bowler doing well to follow him as Head tried to make room for himself. After a slow start it was the perfect hand for the match conditions, from only 36 balls as well.

6.51am GMT

46th over: Australia 303-3 (Head 41, Maxwell 43). Travis Head gives Junaid a might whack, as high as it is long, over the rope all the same just in front of the O’Reilly Stand that he’s targeted a couple of times already. Six scored. More overthrows later in the over due to a terrible throw from Hasan. He’s been both the best of the bowlers and the worst of the fielders. The 300 up in the process.

Robert Wilson has written in, and I’m grateful for it.

6.47am GMT

45th over: Australia 290-3 (Head 31, Maxwell 40). Destined to be a busy last five overs with these two having their eye in. Evidenced by the first ball where Maxwell adjusts his stance to slap a line-drive over Amir’s head. Head – given the chance last over – skies another, but this time it falls safely. That’s the way it goes. Mid-off brought up, Maxwell immediately targets it. It isn’t the most clearly struck of strokes, but beats Azhar diving to his left. Given the way Pakistan have fielded today, it is little surprise when Maxwell and Head take on the sweeper Sharjeel for two, doing it easy. Oh and they do it again to the last ball, this time third man (Hasan) the culprit in allowing one to become two. Amir is fuming. Fair enough too. 14 taken from the over as Australia near 300.

6.40am GMT

44th over: Australia 276-3 (Head 30, Maxwell 28). Junaid is another who has done plenty right today without his numbers necessarily reflecting it. This over won’t help, a slower ball helped over the rope by Head! He hits the ball better than most over midwicket, a product of the new-school no doubt. Earlier in the over he did give what could be called a return catch to Junaid from a low full-toss, but in reality by getting a hand on the bowler saved three. To end the over? Another dropped catch. That’s a shocker at long on. Not the worst we’ve even seen today, mind. Head survives. Such a mess.

Almost comical – the fielding today! Another drop by sharjeel..

6.36am GMT

43rd over: Australia 266-3 (Head 21, Maxwell 27). Amir back. He’s not going a lot wrong early, but sure enough there’s an overthrow. But that’s a legit opportunity, a direct hit would have left Head a metre short or more. A full toss on Head’s hip though? He isn’t missing that. Four rather than six, though. Warner on the TV commentary with Mark Taylor asked about four times in a row how many he would like / how many he thinks they will get. 330, if you were wondering. Eight from this one.

Pakistan’s spinners today



6.31am GMT

42nd over: Australia 258-3 (Head 15, Maxwell 26). Hafeez back for a third spell. While Maxwell misses a full toss, Head doesn’t miss a slog sweep, popping him into the O’Reilly Stand to end an over worth 12. A long way back, too.

6.26am GMT

41st over: Australia 246-3 (Head 7, Maxwell 22). Just as I was about to say something nice about Imad – who has been unlucky and persistent today – he gives Maxwell a half volley with the penultimate ball to smash over his head, then a full toss reversed away with ease. All of a sudden, 11 from it for the hosts.

Maxi is having some fun! Get to a TV @wwos or jump on the live stream because you don’t want to miss this: #AUSvPAK

6.21am GMT

40th over: Australia 235-3 (Head 5, Maxwell 13). Some brief hope for Pakistan that they may have nabbed Maxwell with a direct hit via Azhar, but not to be. Only four singles from Junaid’s first over back into the attack though. Ten to go, but dreams of a redonkulous Australian score probably gone. Then again, Maxwell.

6.14am GMT

39th over: Australia 231-3 (Head 3, Maxwell 11). Oh Big Show! He’s into position shifting into the left-handed stance before Imad has even let the ball go there; the first of the over. And it’s hit so sweetly that it nearly lands in the Ladies Stand. And sure enough Hasan has dropped him later in the over, a top edge that he had no idea about running back at short-fine. It wasn’t the easiest chance running with the flight, but it won’t make Imad feel any better, the second chance he’s had put down off the man he is bowling in tandem with.

Ok Maxi #AUSvPAK

6.11am GMT

38th over: Australia 220-1 (Head 2, Maxwell 1). What did I say a couple of overs ago? Pakistan’s chance. The best way to ruin that? Four overthrows. Shoaib Malik watching on, not backing up. Umar Akmal, throwing to the non-strikers end for no obvious reason to begin with. Far from the bowler Hasan’s fault, who has been brilliant in both of his spells today. This is actually a maiden as far as he is concerned, the overthrows after a leg-bye. A maiden in the 38th over after the afternoon they have had? Yeah, impressive. The highlight: beating Head all ends up with the penultimate ball.

6.08am GMT

37th over: Australia 215-1 (Head 2, Maxwell 1). Imad has done his job here, keeping the new pair to a couple of singles in the over. But to be fair, both of these guys can go particularly big at the death, so they won’t mind taking a couple of others to get in first.

OUT! Warner’s magnificent knock comes to an end on 130, Australia 2-212. Hasan the bowler. Standing ovation for the Aussie opener #AUSvPAK

6.04am GMT

36th over: Australia 213-3 (Head 1, Maxwell 0). Not the circumstances these two would have imagined when watching on a couple of minutes ago. We know from T20 cricket in particular how quickly a limited overs game can change course. Pakistan have their opening right now. it has taken the better part of three hours, but it’ll be what happens over the next period that’ll dictate if they are any chance after dark. Meanwhile, Mark Taylor has just described Glenn Maxwell as “a bit of an X factor.” Drink. Drink. Drink.

6.02am GMT

It is hitting in line with enough of the ball collecting the top of middle and leg to confirm the decision, Smith gone a run short of a half-century. Well, two wickets in an over. How about that? Hasan had to redeem himself after that dropped catch, and he’s certainly done so removing both of Australia’s leaders in the space of three balls.

6.00am GMT

WICKET?! Review! Is Smith LBW? Has Hasan got two in an over? The captain wants to check it out upstairs. We wait.

5.58am GMT

Was always going to happen after talking up the double ton, wasn’t it? After flicking Hasan through backward square to begin the over, all looked in good order. But then throwing one out wide, the Australian century-maker reached out wide without the footwork required to make proper contact, cue-ending it through to Rizwan. He smiles when departing, both probably in frustration about the demise, but also satisfaction at a job very nicely done indeed.

5.54am GMT

35th over: Australia 208-1 (Warner 126, Smith 49). Imad to keep going. Maybe he wishes he wasn’t, Warner smashing him with a flat slog into the Churchill Stand. Can’t do much about that; dominant batting. Dare I say it, but he has a double ton on the shelf here if all goes to plan. Australia’s 200 came up with the whack as well. Six other runs taken around the field, for 12 all told from the over.

5.51am GMT

34th over: Australia 196-1 (Warner 118, Smith 45). Channel Nine’s over begins by showing a group of people in formal wear holding signs with Married at First Sight to plug their new show. I can’t work out what is more demeaning: the show itself, or using that method to promote it? What just Ian Chappell think. Probably used to it by now, to be fair. Anyway, cricket. Hasan, after that howler at mid-off last over, is back into the attack. Injured earlier, but unclear what’s wrong with him. He did bowl beautifully earlier on, claiming Khawaja’s wicket along the way – the only Pakistan have taken. Only five from this over, so a perfectly adequate return to the attack. Useful slower ball to Warner ends it, but Warner’s edge doesn’t go to hand.

+ = ❤️#9Married | JANUARY 30

5.47am GMT

33rd over: Australia 191-1 (Warner 115, Smith 43). That’s just so poor. DROPPED by Hasan (who is back on, evidently) at mid-off. The most staightforward chance off Warner. It tailed away from him slightly in the air, but still – this is international cricket. Imad the man who misses out on the wicket, and worse still, has to keep bowling to Warner. Singles come from each of the four balls that follow.

5.42am GMT

32nd over: Australia 185-1 (Warner 111, Smith 41). Well that’s NOT OUT as the ball is missing the stumps, and wasn’t hitting in line anyway. I can see why they had a crack, it did straighten. But it’s considerably harder to judge with Smith, moving so far outside the off-stump before the ball is bowled. The over was worth seven to the hosts as they shuffle off for a drink, including a Warner boundary pulled through midwicket when Amir dropped short the ball after sending him to the floor with the yorker. Not even that short really, but enough room for Warner to swing, who doesn’t require a second invitation.

Kaboom! Warner SMASHED that! #AUSvPAK

5.38am GMT

Review! Has Amir trapped Smith? He thinks so, even if the umpire didn’t. So, we’re off upstairs. Stand by.

5.35am GMT

31st over: Australia 178-1 (Warner 105, Smith 40). Imad beats Warner outside the off-stump to begin – a rare thing today. 175 at 30 overs. You know that old ‘double it at 30’ Richie truism? During the World Cup in 2015 it was more like double it at 35, on the numbers of that tournament. Now, the rules have since changed, an extra man outside the circle in the final ten, but the point remains that a truly outlandish score is still within Australia’s grasp if stars align. Saying all that: only three from this efficient set. So I’ll cool it.

David Warner is the first Australian to hit three one-day centuries at the SCG

The only previous man to do it? Sanath Jayasuriya#AUSvPAK

5.31am GMT

30th over: Australia 175-1 (Warner 102, Smith 40). Good captaincy there from Azhar to bring back Amir, I reckon, replacing Shoaib. Got to keep Warner thinking about it. It’s a good start, ducking into his stumps and clipping an inside edge. They consider two, but have to stay with the one. Smith makes his way over to about a fifth stump line, pushing to point. So. It’s Warner again. On 99. On his home ground. Where he made a ton before lunch a few weeks ago in a Test Match. Today it is a 98-ball ton! And cue the celebration. It never gets any less enthusiastic. The single was out to point, in keeping with where he made the bulk of his early, dominant runs in setting up this innings for Australia. It’s his 12th ODI century, his fifth in the last ten innings. What will come next? Given he’s been practicing his clobber over cow corner at the non-strikers end, I reckon there’s a clue there. Time to tune in.

5.26am GMT

29th over: Australia 170-1 (Warner 98, Smith 39). Smith begins Imad’s over with another of those stand-up sweeps. That’s a boundary early on in each of the last four overs for Smith. That’s the difference at the moment. Warner may be 97 from 95 balls, but Smith is driving the tempo of the contest. He gets two more via a backfoot drive that bisects the men on the ring. Lovely timing. He’s already made an SCG ODI ton this summer against New Zealand, has to be a big chance of repeating the dose in about 90 or so minutes from now. If that. Warner retains the strike with a punch to deep cover. He’ll face Soiab on 98. Eight from the over.

5.23am GMT

28th over: Australia 162-1 (Warner 97, Smith 32). Smith again is happy enough to cut, this time Shoaib’s first ball. The gap picked, that’s four. That should be a risky stroke to an off-breaker, but it doesn’t look it. Back to Warner, four away from a ton, but his hard-hit pull finds the midwicket sweeper. Three to go. Seven again from it thanks to Smith’s boundary.

5.19am GMT

27th over: Australia 155-1 (Warner 96, Smith 26). Surprised to hear on the call that Warner’s fastest ODI ton is 92 balls. He has faced 89 for his 95 so far, but he looks happy enough to get there the old-fashioned way, clipping Imad for one to begin the over. Smith on the other hand, he’s deep in the crease and crunching the left-arm spin behind point for a boundary. He was dropped on 10. Let’s remember that. From a bloke popping out one hand to a relatively conventional chance in the gully. Let’s remember that too. Sharjeel was the offender. Don’t forget that. Pakistan won’t if/when he ends up on 100 at the end. Back on strike, Warner does try and sweep Imad on 96 – the final ball of his set – but doesn’t get enough on it to beat short-fine. Seven from it.

5.16am GMT

26th over: Australia 148-1 (Warner 95, Smith 20). Shoaib Malik on from the Members End. So, tandem finger spin. It worked very well a week ago. But there’s far more purpose in the Australian effort today, shown by a rapid two taken into the onside that would nine times out of ten be one walked out to the sweeper. Top tier running between wickets. Might be required to bowl quite a few today if Hasan isn’t seen again, still up in the rooms. A misfield at mid-on by the captain Azhar let’s Smith keep the strike. Six from it. Warner’s within a clean strike of a ton.

5.12am GMT

25th over: Australia 142-1 (Warner 93, Smith 16). Imad Wasim, the left arm ortho, only getting a go now, just on half way to replace Hafeez. He’s been Pakistan’s best in this series. Warner drives him out to cover first up, the pair scampering through for two. When Smith gets his chance he plays that stand-up sweep, which is essentially a reverse drive by the way he makes contact, past the diving man at short-fine and to the rope. Another good enough, nine from it. And probably more importantly, Imad on the back foot from the get go. That’s half way.

5.10am GMT

They look like they’re having fun.

5.06am GMT

24th over: Australia 133-1 (Warner 89, Smith 11). Oh what is that?! Sharjeel is given a chance at gully when Smith edges Junaid and he’s dropped badly with one hand. What a circus. True village. Next ball, Junaid – fuming – runs in and bowls a full toss deemed a no-ball for above waist high. Free hit for Warner who charges and ultimately flicks over midwicket for two when it’s dug in. The replays of the catch look worse every time. “I can’t believe that!” says Michael Clarke on the commentary.

5.02am GMT

23rd over: Australia 127-1 (Warner 85, Smith 10). After saying those nice things about Hafeez it was inevitable he was going go let me down. To be fair, the first of the two boundaries he conceded was Warner class, down on the one leg sweeping between the legside sweepers behind square. The second though, that’s a long hop, put away. 11 from it, all to Warner, who is now 15 from a 12th ODI century.

4.59am GMT

22nd over: Australia 116-1 (Warner 74, Smith 10). Some relief for Australia, the new bowler Junaid – replacing Hasan who is yet to come back out of the Pakistan rooms – overpitching to Warner who makes no mistake through the covers. That’s the second boundary since the Australians got to 50. Much better later in the over, the left-armer beats Warner – the first time his forcing stroke off the back foot hasn’t hit the middle of the bat, let alone beaten it altogether. There’s an appeal from the bowler despite it missing the edge by a long way. The TV commentators aren’t too happy with that kind of appeal. Speaking of TV, they have got their act together on the music in this series as well. Including this just then. Nine from the over, by the way.

4.54am GMT

21st over: Australia 107-1 (Warner 66, Smith 9). Hafeez has raced through his last five overs for 17, 0/31 from seven very handy overs all told. Two singles here to bookend the set, Smith down the ground to begin, Warner likewise to end. Warner’s strike rate during the over dropped below 100, remembering that his first 50 came in 35 balls. Different game now.

37 balls – 0-50
74 balls – 51-100#AUSvPAK

4.50am GMT

20th over: Australia 105-1 (Warner 65, Smith 8). Hasan is straight down the race after his over. Weird one? Didn’t look in strife, indeed, the over went for only two. His five overs are the tidiest of the lot so far with 1/20. Before leaving, his over to Smith and Warner was another sound one, maintaining a disciplined length. Perfect for this period of the contest.

4.46am GMT

19th over: Australia 103-1 (Warner 64, Smith 7). The third of five easy singles taken from this Hafeez over constitutes the Australian 100. Considerably slower second 50 than the first, but with the captain and his deputy out there, it might be worth watching this instead of the tennis for a while. They’re pretty good at cricket.

4.42am GMT

18th over: Australia 98-1 (Warner 61, Smith 5). Smith is away first ball, clipping with authority to the square leg boundary. That’s a very useful way to start a shift. As they learned the other night in Perth – where the Australian captain made a matchwinning ton – early pressure is vital. Some swing prompts an inside edge second up, so that’ll encourage the tourists.

Not a bad start for the skipper!


4.38am GMT

Reward for effort from Hasan, who has been excellent in putting the brakes on since his introduction. Tempting Khawaja outside off-stump, the opener – who has been far from fluent of late – took the chance but only succeeded in edging behind. Well taken down low by Rizwan as well. And they’re pumped as well. Fair play to them, half an hour ago they could have pondered a massive chase. Now? A chance to make this manageable. If they can just grab Warner as well.

4.35am GMT

17th over: Australia 92-0 (Khawaja 30, Warner 60). Hafeez good enough to bowl four consecutive dots to Warner before he gets the chance to take one to square leg, then Khawaja another down the ground to end the over. But still, two from it. The captain will be very happy with his deputy here as they take a drink. Still, as Mark Taylor notes on the call, it’s a very sound base to build from as the afternoon progresses.

4.31am GMT

16th over: Australia 90-0 (Khawaja 29, Warner 59). Few laughs out there when Warner gets himself a free hit after Hasan oversteps. Sure enough, he went for it but didn’t clear midwicket, caught on the circle. Says a bit about modern-Warner, I reckon. Watching him get into the baseball swing is quite unusual these days. Despite the misstep early in the over, it only goes for four. That’s 19 from the last five. Nice fightback. But need a breakthrough.

4.26am GMT

15th over: Australia 86-0 (Khawaja 28, Warner 57). Better than a part-timer, Hafeez, winning to give it a decent rip and plenty of air. In other words, keeping them honest, Warner especially. Four singles still found through, all through the on-side. 408 the highest score on the SCG, when AB made 162 from 66 balls, the TV reminds me. No real threat of that today. Unless Warner makes a double. Which, of course, he could.

4.23am GMT

14th over: Australia 82-0 (Khawaja 26, Warner 55). I’ve liked Hasan through this series. The definition of slippery, from a lower trajectory than Amir and Junaid, slightly slingy action as well. He’s able to spit a couple up at Warner off a length to finish a very good over, the best so far today from Pakistan, two from it.


Warner now 54 not out

He has 2 centuries in 12 previous ODIs at the SCG

He has an average in excess of 59 here

4.20am GMT

13th over: Australia 80-0 (Khawaja 25, Warner 54). Hafeez is back, presumably to push through a couple of overs now the powerplay is over. Does it nicely, conceding only four singles. That’s his job.

4.16am GMT

12th over: Australia 76-0 (Khawaja 23, Warner 52). Hasan Ali with his right arm fast-medium is on to replace Amir from the Members End, who I think has bowled better than 0/30 from his five so far? A couple for Warner – predictably behind point – brings up David Warner’s half-century in just 35 balls. What a freak he is when hitting them the way he is today. A couple more to midwicket follows to end the over, the Aussies taking six from it.

Meanwhile. Hmmmmm.

18,144 at the SCG just now… #AusvPak

4.10am GMT

11th over: Australia 70-0 (Khawaja 22, Warner 47). Warner again with his steer to the backward point boundary. Remember when his most lethal stroke was over cow corner? Such a different player. His adjustment into position is quite stunning when playing that shot. Never looks like edging them. Only Joe Root in the modern game does that quite so effortlessly or effectively. Three further singles makes seven from the Junaid over.

Today was the 4th occasion a spinner sent down the first over of an ODI in Australia – previous 3 times were all by SL’s Dilshan #AUSvPAK

4.06am GMT

10th over: Australia 63-0 (Khawaja 21, Warner 41). After a sedate couple of overs, Amir fires up with a fling at Khawaja’s stumps after collecting the ball in his return. It nearly goes bad, the ball spilling away and the Australians considering a quick single, prompting a second throw at the bowler’s end. Four risk-free singles came before that, Khawaja’s clip to midwicket from off-stump to begin the most enjoyable of those to watch.

4.03am GMT

9th over: Australia 59-0 (Khawaja 19, Warner 39). Junaid much, much better. Fuller to both of these two, without being too full. It’s a tough gig, but somebody has gotta do it. Only two singles for the Australians, who have an over left before the field spreads. But they’ve done plenty in this powerplay already to set up the afternoon.

3.58am GMT

8th over: Australia 57-0 (Khawaja 18, Warner 38). Some relative calm after the storm for Pakistan, Amir able to pin Khawaja for the bulk of the over. The batsmen exchange singles to end the over.

3.53am GMT

7th over: Australia 54-0 (Khawaja 17, Warner 36). New over, same outcome: Warner again steering past point high on the balls of his feet. It’s such a harder shot to play than the way he makes it look. It races away. Junaid works his way back into the over, with a fuller length. Junaid already digging into his change-ups, trying on a slower one to Khawaja when he gets his chance, pulled comfortably to square leg. A touch of swing ends the over, Warner following the moving ball with his hands, but the outside edge flies safely to thing man. Oh, and the 50 stand to begin the over. So, 37 balls for that.

3.47am GMT

6th over: Australia 47-0 (Khawaja 16, Warner 30). David Warner doing as he wants to Amir, picking up a short ball and popping it into the O’Reilly Stand. As you do when it is coming at near enough to 145kph. Later in the over Warner again brings out his steer behind point. This was the shot that made his century in a session possible earlier this month. Indeed, that’s the very region where he brought up the three runs for the hundred. It’s three again here after Shoaib sticks out his boot and prevents the boundary. Still: ten from it. All the pre-conditions for the Australian vice-captain to go big here. Strap in.

KABOOM! Warner is flying at the SCG! #AUSvPAK

3.43am GMT

5th over: Australia 37-0 (Khawaja 15, Warner 21). Junaid into the attack to replace Hafeez. Makes sense with these two looking destructive. But Warner is well up for the left-armer as well. It will be hard to watch for those who played in the Test Match, twice Warner blasting through the off-side with exceptional timing and limited backswing. This is far from high-risk batting. He has a third go at it to a shorter ball outside off stump to finish the over, but finds point.

Cricket Ground DJ having a blinder early, giving the crowd some Midnight Juggernauts. Superb areas.

3.37am GMT

4th over: Australia 28-0 (Khawaja 14, Warner 13). Australia feel very much away already here. Khawaja opens the Amir set taking him off the hip for four. When the bowler overpitches later int he over it’s a classy clip through the onside again for another boundary.


3.33am GMT

3rd over: Australia 19-0 (Khawaja 6, Warner 13). Warner drives through cover with excellent footwork, that’s four every time at this stage of the innings with the field up. Hafeez then taken for three, leaping deep into the crease to crunch him through the onside this time. Doesn’t quite go, but the signs are good here for Warner, who was in rude form the last time he played on this ground. Three singles round out the pricey over, worth 11 to the hosts.

3.30am GMT

2nd over: Australia 8-0 (Khawaja 3, Warner 5). Mohammad Amir taking up the attack from the Members End. Khawaja isn’t in any hurry early on by the looks. The left-armer was outstanding at Perth early on, beating the bat routinely – probably the best he has bowled all tour. Khawaja eventually drives to cover, but there is a misfield in the ring, releasing any pressure that had been built up over the initial four deliveries. Warner pushes the final ball through mid-off, and has done enough in the timing for it to run away to the rope. Good batting.

3.24am GMT

1st over: Australia 3-0 (Khawaja 2, Warner 1). Khawaja very happy to pat Hafeez back before getting underway to a push down the ground to the man back at long off. Warner does likewise, then Khawaja a second time. Easy peasy for all involved. But broadly effective for the tourists, only three from the over.

Some other news from the SCG, Cricket Australia announcing the new Hall of Fame inductees ahead of the Allan Border Medal tomorrow night.

JUST IN: David Boon, Matthew Hayden and women’s cricket trailblazer Betty Wilson are the 2017 Australian Cricket Hall of Fame inductees

3.20am GMT

The players are out in the middle. Offie Mohammad Hafeez has the new ball in his hand, in keeping with what they tried on in Perth. Warner and Khawaja are the Australians at the crease. Let’s play.

3.19am GMT

An important one before we get underway.

It’s a big day for the wonderful charity Batting4Change today. With one week left, they have fallen well short of the $100,000 fundraising target. So, in a strong move, for every dollar donated today their impressive crew of player ambassadors will match. This is really great stuff. Consider chipping in.

PLS RT TODAY ONLY @batting4change ambassadors are matching every $ donated – to make it count #bbl06 #smashemsixers

3.00am GMT

Good afternoon everyone. Adam Collins joining you here for the fourth ODI from the Sydney. Australia are able to wrap up the series if they can knock off Sydney today after their excellent run chase on Thursday in Perth. Simple as that, really. If the tourists get up, Adelaide’s Australia Day fixture will be the series decider. That’d be nice as well.

I can report that Australia have won the toss, and sure enough, Steve Smith is having a bat. To the teams…

8.29am GMT

Adam will be with you shortly. In the meantime, check out what Allan Border thinks of Australia’s current crop of spinners. Spoiler: not much.

Related: Allan Border says he doubts Australian spinners will get job done in India

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article:

Jan 19

Australia beat Pakistan in third one-day international – live!

  • Australia win by seven wickets with 30 balls remaining
  • Hosts take 2-1 lead in five-match series with Sydney and Adelaide to come

11.12am GMT

And so Australia take the third match of the five-game series at the Waca, largely on the back of a long and controlled partnership that saw Peter Handscomb make 82 and captain Steve Smith finish with an unbeaten 108 from 104 balls.

It’s a dangerously easy stereotype to peddle, but Pakistan were major architects in their own demise here. At 2/45 in the 10th over and slipping behind the required run-rate, the men in dark green will look back on Peter Handscomb’s no-ball dismissal and the ensuing dropped catch at point early in his innings as pivotal points in outcome of the match. All too often this fun yet frustrating side contrives to dismantle its advantage, and in international cricket you simply cannot be offering players second and third chances.

Related: Steve Smith century gets Australia back to winning ways against Pakistan

10.55am GMT

It’s an unbeaten ton for Smith with solid support from his batting group. In the end, it was pretty comprehensive. Summary to follow, stay tuned.

10.53am GMT

45th over: Australia 265-3 (Smith 108, Head 23)

Most thought this would be the last over, and it proves so. An early single to Smith sees Head negotiate a few dots before he punches Junaid down the ground for the final scoring shot of the match. Australia are victors, and it was fairly comfortable in the end.

10.48am GMT

44th over: Australia 260-3 (Smith 107, Head 19)

Australia closing in on a supremely comfortable win now. It’s Hasan, who’s feeling the full wrath of Smith’s extended pull shot for four. This is the one where his arms and body almost follow the ball after it’s been struck. It’s bookended by singles and two’s throughout.

10.44am GMT

43rd over: Australia 251-3 (Smith 101, Head 16)

Amir finishes his spell. It’s 1/36 off ten. He was cautiously handled in his ultimate over with five dots from it, though Head managed to jump-tuck one off his hip for four through fine leg. Another excellent exhibition of quick bowling from Amir, with little support from those around him it has to be said.

10.42am GMT

42nd over: Australia 247-3 (Smith 101, Head 12)

A four to commence and more singles as the procession continues. The quicks still look more threatening than their spinning counterparts but they were reintroduced too late. Head, after three overs at the crease, looks fairly settled. Red ink beckons, you’d say.

10.39am GMT

The headband-clad Australian skipper brings up his ton via a pull through mid wicket – a profitable shot for him this innings. He rode the Pakistan onslaught early and prospered thereafter. In the end it came at better than a run-a-ball and once beyond those early exchanges it all looked reasonably effortless.

10.36am GMT

41st over: Australia 239-3 (Smith 96, Head 10)

Head’s commenced very well here – he caps off Amir’s over with a solid punch through mid on for a boundary. Amir has lost some steam here, fairly understandable at this stage,

10.32am GMT

40th over: Australia 233-3 (Smith 95, Head 5)

Travis Head’s the new batsmen for the men in gold and Hasan is right at him. He survives a play and miss before steering one square through the offside for a boundary. Another single keeps the score ticking over, but this was comfortably the best over for Pakistan in a long while.

10.28am GMT

Pace finally undoes Handscomb. A quicker bouncer is aimed outside off stump – the Victorian tries to do what he did before and find that boundary at fine leg. This time the ball wraps his gloves and leave Rizwan with a comfortable take moving to his left. An excellent innings from Handscomb after a shaky start.

10.26am GMT

39th over: Australia 228-2 (Smith 95, Handscomb 82)

Amir’s back, but it’s too late. He offers a loosener that Smith doesn’t waste – belting a pull shot for four through mid wicket. We’re now looking forward to the breaking of more records. There’s a partnership record up for grabs and Handscomb nears a hundred on debut. Balls are run fine to third man and the strike is ticked over. Amir reminds Smith at the over’s death that he does retain wheels, forcing an ungainly evasion from one aimed at the helmet.

10.22am GMT

38th over: Australia 220-2 (Smith 89, Handscomb 80)

Imad’s off and Hasan’s back, hooray! It is reasonably difficult to understand the rationale behind maintaining Imad for eight overs of ease, but if there’s a master plan about to unfold then consider me mistaken. Hasan creates trouble almost immediately – he has Handscomb in two minds and french cutting for a fortunate boundary, then it happens again! To compound the frustration, Handscomb then finely steers Hasan past second slip for four from the back foot – this one was far more deliberate.

10.17am GMT

37th over: Australia 207-2 (Smith 88, Handscomb 68)

There’s another boundary through the backstop/fine-leg region in an almost carbon copy of Handscomb’s shot two overs ago – though this time it’s Smith. It’s evident that the Australian’s are scoring runs at will. Whereas Handscomb was fairly rooted to his crease early, here he is walking around his crease in an effort to manipulate the ball wherever he pleases. He succeeds. A smart flick wide of mid on sees the over finish with another three, taking the tally to ten this time.

10.13am GMT

36th over: Australia 197-2 (Smith 80, Handscomb 66)

Imad continues, Australia reap runs. Nine this time. Why not Hafeez, Hasan, or Amir? Three guys who can genuinely be happy with their figures so far. Handscomb fancies square leg this time, taking his runs through there, usually after coming down the wicket.

10.09am GMT

35th over: Australia 188-2 (Smith 78, Handscomb 59)

So it’s the left-handed Junaid who’s brought back by Hafeez, but are the Australian’s too far gone? Smith’s likes the third ball of each over for a boundary, and he’s the same here. He leans on Junaid’s only-slightly overpitched ball and pierces the gap between mid-off and cover. Handscomb then gets some luck, top edging an attempted pull that lands somewhere between backstop and fine leg for four. Eleven off the over. The horse has bolted here.

10.04am GMT

34th over: Australia 177-2 (Smith 73, Handscomb 53)

The players return from drinks and the scenario is pretty favourable for the home side. it’s still Imad, who’s going at nearly seven an over and whose retention is mildly perplexing. He goes for another seven; the boundary coming again through a Smith sweep.

9.59am GMT

33rd over: Australia 169-2 (Smith 67, Handscomb 51)

More of the same from Malik here. The over’s exclamation mark comes through a half sweep, half hoick over the square leg umpire’s head. Hafeez surely has to roll the dice with Amir, Junaid and Hasan now. Seam worked for them early, and spin has hurt them here.

Leading from the front! That’s 3,000 ODI runs for Steve Smith, completed in 79 innings – the same amount as Brian Lara #AusvPak

9.55am GMT

32nd over: Australia 162-2 (Smith 61, Handscomb 50)

More feet, more dancing, more singles, and Handscomb has a fifty on ODI debut. It hasn’t taken long for the St Kilda clubman to ingratiate himself into the Australian batting group, has it? He rode his luck here, finding his fifty after a no-ball dismissal and being dropped along the way. Once again, there’s runs from the final ball of the over – Smith cuts hard behind point for three.

9.51am GMT

31st over: Australia 155-2 (Smith 57, Handscomb 47)

New bowler for Pakistan as Shoaib Malik enters the fray. I heard earlier today that he made his ODI debut at the WACA as an 18-year-old in 2000, which is fairly extraordinary. His introduction is probably a big moment in the match, and if the innings has been any indication, Australia will look to take runs from the spinner. He is, after all, the sixth bowler. Handscomb back-cuts him for three early on, and shows his wares by making room for himself later on to go over cover. Malik follows him though, forcing the Victorian to hit through leg. He continues in that vein though, and sweeps Malik four four behind square from his final ball. Eleven from the over.

9.45am GMT

30th over: Australia 145-2 (Smith 55, Handscomb 39)

Another over with six from it. The prevailing thought is that wickets in hand will allow Australia the freedom to accelerate late. Hafeez must see things slightly differently, as he continues his policy of defence through Imad’s spell. Australia are picking up singles readily, though the required run rate still hovers at a run-a-ball. The wicket indicates that it may not be so easy, though perhaps I’m thinking too wishfully.

9.41am GMT

29th over: Australia 139-2 (Smith 52, Handscomb 37)

Handscomb glides one down to third man and picks up more runs through a couple of scoring shots late in the over: first a pull from one that kept a little low for two, second a hook that garners him three – it would have been four if not for some solid fielding from Malik in the deep.

Great tactics from Pakistan to refuse to dismiss the obviously nervous and slow-scoring Handscomb. Outwitting the Australians. #AUSvPAK

9.37am GMT

28th over: Australia 132-2 (Smith 51, Handscomb 31)

Imad appears to be a fairly favourable proposition for these two, as he leaks more singles down to longs off and on. Along the way Smith brings up his fifty. He survived a fairly tough examination early, though never relented on his scoring pace (58 balls). It’s unwise to say this, but he looks fairly impregnable here.

9.33am GMT

27th over: Australia 127-2 (Smith 49, Handscomb 28)

Aside from Amir, Hasan has stemmed the flow of runs better than the rest – it’s probably this logic that sees him back on. He continues where he left off, and even emits the first false stroke for a while – Handscomb playing and missing at one that leaves him off the wicket. More respect shown to the medium-fast operator, there’s only two from this over.

9.30am GMT

26th over: Australia 125-2 (Smith 48, Handscomb 27)

More ease for Australia, though the over is punctuated somewhat by an LBW appeal to an advancing Handscomb. It was reminiscent of Smith’s dismissal here against South Africa earlier in the summer. It’s a different result this time. So often these successful chases are defined by boundaries well-timed in both senses. Here Handscomb advances again and lifts Imad over forward square for a soul-destroying boundary of the last ball of the over.

9.27am GMT

25th over: Australia 118-2 (Smith 47, Handscomb 22)

Singles every ball with a boundary in the middle to Smith, caressed through cover. At the halfway mark, it’s now fair to say Australia has the ascendancy. Have Pakistan retreated to defence too quickly? For all the mayhem and swagger and danger produced in the early exchanges, it’s all a little tame now. Without doubt, Smith and Handscomb have weathered the storm. The onus is on Pakistan to create something now.

9.23am GMT

24th over: Australia 110-2 (Smith 41, Handscomb 20)

So the partnership builds a little here and it’s spin from both ends now for Pakistan. It’s another festival of singles as both sides enter conservative, arm-wrestle mode. Smith finally grabs two via a cut to the point boundary.

9.21am GMT

23rd over: Australia 105-2 (Smith 37, Handscomb 19)

While Smith accelerates into his innings, Handscomb’s feels a little more laboured. He drives Hafeez down to long on, but not before the ball spends an alarming amount of time in the air. Hafeez may have got a fingertip to a potential return-catch, but the ball evades him. We’re on the long-off, long-on carousel of singles here – though an interesting little moment when Hafeez pauses just before delivering, and looks directly at the non-striker Handscomb, as though to tell him he’s way too far beyond his crease. He combines it with a retiring apology. I call that good diplomacy. Handscomb can consider himself warned.

9.17am GMT

22nd over: Australia 102-2 (Smith 39, Handscomb 18)

Hasan has been economical – he runs in very straight and close to the stumps, he makes a duck-face upon delivery, he bowls in-swingers that do enough, and he’s clearly earned the respect of his opposition. A few singles are followed by a swivel-pull shot from Smith that almost beats deep square leg but a diving hand prevents a boundary; he gets two.

9.12am GMT

21st over: Australia 95-2 (Smith 32, Handscomb 16)

Handscomb misses out on a Hafeez full toss that probably surprised him, though it’s fortuitous as the ensuing single precedes a six over mid-off from Smith’s bat. He shows the full face and arc of the bat all the way through – does anyone extend their arms and contort their body in such an exaggerated motion as does Smith? Singles round out another good over from Australia, who have fought their way back to something approaching parity here. A pretty good contest, all-told.

9.09am GMT

20th over: Australia 86-2 (Smith 24, Handscomb 14)

A glorious cover drive from Smith greets Hasan’s second delivery – four from the moment it left the bat, no need to run. The captain finds two more via a whip from outside off (where else?) where they make the most of a a pick up that is anything but clean. Handscomb ensures he makes his ground with an extravagant dive, and the over ends with seven from it.

9.04am GMT

19th over: Australia 79-2 (Smith 18, Handscomb 14)

A bit of rotation from Hafeez, who reintroduces himself into the attack. The breeze seems to be picking up, which lends a flightiness to his off-spinners and a daring invitation to the Australian batsmen. It’s an invitation knocked back – probably wise, if Smith’s leading edge to complete the over is anything to go by. A maiden!

Handscomb said this during the Sydney Test. And now millimetres save him on yet another debut, caught for a duck – off a no-ball #AUSvPAK

9.01am GMT

18th over: Australia 79-2 (Smith 18, Handscomb 14)

It’s a see-sawing innings so far, with Pakistan fractionally on top. Hasan’s into his second over and conceded a couple of singles to third man before he garners is misstroke from Smith that rolls through to Rizwan behind the stumps. The Australian captain then finds three runs through the offside, standing tall and punching between cover and point. Five off the over, honours even. Smith warming up now.

8.57am GMT

17th over: Australia 73-2 (Smith 13, Handscomb 13)

Change of bowler for Pakistan, that will likely be well received by their opposition. It’s Imad’s left arm orthodox and he’s coming around the wicket to the Australian right handers. Whereas Handscomb favours his back foot to pace, he’s almost compulsively dancing to spinners. He gets one which brings his captain on strike, who breaks the shackles with consecutive boundaries – one cut behind point, the other worked through mid wicket after skipping down the wicket. Australia needed that. It forces a fielding change, one that allows Smith to milk one to long on. Imad follows up with a wide to Handscomb, and there’s a single to finish. A much-needed big over for Australia, twelve off it.

8.52am GMT

16th over: Australia 61-2 (Smith 4, Handscomb 11)

It’s been a wild ride so far – appeals, no balls, and dropped catches all threatening to shape this game. Meanwhile Australia has dropped below four an over in this period of extended consolidation. You have to hand it to the Pakistan bowlers, who – for the last three or four overs – have been exceptional. Conversation builds in the nine comm box about the growing number of no-balls that are being missed. Rather than that signalling a little luck from an Australian point of view, Moody in particular is lamenting the number of free hits they’re missing. Only two from the over, full of leaves and back foot defence.

handscomb or
Chancecomb. #AUSvPAK

8.48am GMT

15th over: Australia 59-2 (Smith 3, Handscomb 10)

A bit of authority from Handscomb here as he punches Junaid sturdily off the back foot through extra cover for two – always a sign of decent timing when you can put it through there off the back foot. He then edges one that falls just short of slip, though the hands felt soft and there was a modicum of control. The Victorian then absolutely middles a cut shot that’s dropped at backward point by Nawaz! Handscomb riding his luck majorly.

8.41am GMT

14th over: Australia 57-2 (Smith 3, Handscomb 8)

Back to two slips for Amir now as the spice diminishes fractionally from the mayhem of the last few overs. Smith and Handscomb consolidate here with a couple of runs behind square; both are content to let the ball come to them and to leave if offered. Amir has 1/18 from seven overs here, which shows how dominant he’s been.

8.38am GMT

13th over: Australia 54-2 (Smith 3, Handscomb 5)

Handscomb’s back and across movement is only slightly less pronounced than Smith’s, but clearly there’s a line of thinking about it that we’re not full privy too yet. It would be great to try and understand, as conventional thinking would have it that balls aimed at the stumps would necessitate an across-the-line stroke. It doesn’t seem to hamper either batsmen, though it does seem to confound Tom Moody and Michael Slater in the commentary box. There’s a loud appeal from Rizwan for caught behind towards the end of the over, that again no one else seems to hear. Nothing comes of it.

BLOCKER! Gee he was moving quick to get down there and save the day for Handscomb! #AUSvPAK

8.33am GMT

12th over: Australia 52-2 (Smith 2, Handscomb 4)

You can hear the rambunctious Pakistan crowd feeding energy into this game as their men in dark green pursue more wickets. Handscomb’s debut nerves are palpable as his feet don’t seem to dance as swiftly as his reputation (on and off the field) dictates. Only one from the over.

8.29am GMT

11th over: Australia 51-2 (Smith 1, Handscomb 4)

It’s really difficult to ignore Smith’s back and across trigger movement. He’s in Katich territory now, surely? At the moment of contact for his first single, you can genuinely see all three stumps. I’m not judging it negatively though – a bit of difference is more interesting than not. Handscomb then tries to lash Junaid through the offside and is caught! Pakistan are cock-a-hoop until we see that it’s a huge no ball! A huge let-off for Australia, who would have been in major trouble had that been legitimate. Handscomb whacks the ensuing ball (a free hit) over mid wicket for what looks like a six before the ball plugs dramatically, one metre short of the boundary. It’s four all-run. Only four balls gone, what a frantic over! Pakistan has three slips in now and are ‘up and about’, as the AFL types would say.

8.21am GMT

10th over: Australia 45-2 (Smith 0, Handscomb 0)

After some innocuous stuff Khawaja plays and misses to another Amir gem and Amir goes up vociferously! No one else seems to, however, and captain Hafeez decides against a review. He’s called for a wide again before taking Khawaja’s wicket, described below. Enter Pete Handscomb, notionally on debut though it doesn’t feel quite as dramatic as those scenes in Adelaide. There is some familiarity in that back-foot commitment though, which we see displayed immediately. He gets some lip from Amir too!

8.19am GMT

Another one! Amir deserved this. Khawaja tries to blaze him through cover but the ball just nips in off the seam, taking the under edge of Khawaja’s blade and is taken comfortably by Rizwan. Khawaja hangs around for Smith’s view, which is strange given you’d imagine he would have felt the edge himself. He’s sent on his way and Pakistan are on top.

8.14am GMT

Junaid has the last laugh! Warner, attempting to hit Junaid yet again through the offside, only succeeds in edging him. It was wide enough but probably too full for that flurry – and the ball didn’t seem to swing too much.

8.13am GMT

9th over: Australia 44-1 (Smith 0, Khawaja 9)

And so Warner retains strike, again, this over. Junaid is his target, and he bottom edges a lusty pull shot for four to start things off. Hard not to consider how advantageous bats are these days (sorry for the cliche), but he barely got any piece of that ball. Perhaps attempting to cash in on that momentum, he plays what appears to be a back-footed tennis forehand that initially appears to go straight in the air. it in fact sailed a fair distance over mid-off before plugging – Warner picked up two for that. A 50 metre top-edge, that. Crazy stuff. Warner then tries to hammer him through the off-side again but edges behind and he’s gone!

8.08am GMT

8th over: Australia 38-0 (Warner 29, Khawaja 9)

Warner is treating Amir with respect here. He’s extremely watchful of anything aimed at his pads, such is the Pakistan opener’s ability to swing the ball. He hares off strike again with soft hands on the off side but is quickly back on. Amir beats him with a ripper, this time on the inside of his bat – an in-swinger. This is proving a pretty decent spell from Amir. Warner runs one down to third man for one to finish the over.

8.05am GMT

7th over: Australia 35-0 (Warner 27, Khawaja 8)

Perhaps buoyed by his left armed pace brethren, Junaid commences with a far tighter line this over. He can’t elicit the same swing as Amir, though there’s little shame in that. He works his way into his spell and produces another half-shout for lbw in vain. That pressure creates a run out chance the following back. Warner, at the non strikers end, thinks there’s one before being sent back by his partner. Shoiab Malik fires in from mid-on and replays show a direct hit would have sent Warner packing. There wasn’t one in it. As is often the way, Khawaja then gracefully drives Junaid past mid-off for four to finish the over.

7.58am GMT

6th over: Australia 30-0 (Warner 26, Khawaja 4)

Ah, the symmetry, the parabola’s, of Mohammad Amir. He positively winds two balls past Warner’s immense blade – twice enticing him into a defensive prod before curling away at the last moment. Warner finally gets bat on one and hares off strike; a wise ploy. It’s some effort to force Warner into that level of submission when he’s in this mood – whatever of Australia’s ascendancy right now, it’s further proof of Amir’s incredible ability. Khawaja is treated something a little less threatening and leaves his way to the end of the over: a good one for Pakistan.

7.55am GMT

5th over: Australia 29-0 (Warner 25, Khawaja 4)

Junaid’s now introduced into the attack, coming left-arm over to Warner who continues to retain the strike. The man from Matraville tries to pull a fullish ball immediately and misses – the bounce renders Pakistan’s muted appeal moot. Warner tries precisely the same thing next ball and gets the result he’s after. This one was a little shorter; Warner picked it up nonchalantly. The next one’s wide and Warner deals with it too – another boundary. He’s doing it easy here Warner, playing square from the crease on both sides. He toes another pull shot and gets three. Khawaja finally gets some strike and tries to imitate Warner, unsuccessfully. Eleven from the over

7.49am GMT

4th over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 18, Khawaja 4)

Amir errs with one short and wide and is duly punished by Warner, who almost gives himself some room as he slashes him through point for a boundary from the first ball. That sets up the over well for Australia; Warner then finds two behind square that for most would have been one. Continuing with that opportunism, he tries to stand and deliver from a good length Amir delivery, succeeding only in inside edging it behind square leg. He steals one from that too. Australia are away.

7.46am GMT

3rd over: Australia 11-0 (Warner 7, Khawaja 4)

A circumspect Khawaja takes a look at Hafeez’s first couple of balls – surviving one half shout for a ball that pops off his pad to short-leg – before he dances down the deck and employs his elegant wrists in flicking one over mid-wicket for four. Hafeez nearly sneaks one through Khawaja on the back foot later on but his bat just jams down quickly enough. Four off the over.

7.43am GMT

2nd over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 7, Khawaja 0)

It’s Amir from the other end and he achieves that beautiful shape away from the off. His two catchers are at first and second slip, and with his full length they appear well positioned. Warner works one off his hip for two, but remains scoreless from the over otherwise. Khawaja’s yet to face a ball, but he’s on strike next over. You feel that if Amir’s full he’ll be a chance.

7.39am GMT

1st over: Australia 5-0 (Warner 5, Khawaja 0)

Pakistan start with spin and it’s Hafeez coming around the wicket to David Warner. The Australian is immediately cutting hard, and finds the boundary after running one fine to the left of 1st slip. Hafeez has a man under the lid too – something you don’t normally see to Warner in an ODI. He runs one down to long on to make it five from the over.

7.35am GMT

Morning, afternoon and evening all.

From the top a huge thanks to Geoff for his first innings efforts. It’s always an entertaining wander into high end verbiage, metaphor and reference – he didn’t disappoint today. I’d also like to echo his sign off and hat tip to Rachael Heyhoe Flint, a legend of the game.

7.16am GMT

So an excellent comeback from Australia’s bowlers has kept this to an obtainable chase, after Pakistan’s middle order got away through the middle overs. Sharjeel got the early momentum to make up for the loss of Hafeez, clobbering a fun and fast fifty to diffuse the effect of some very tight bowling. Babar and Malik took control once he departed in the 16th over, then Akmal picked up where Malik took off. But Pakistan needed one of those players to stick around for long enough to lift the rate more dramatically, and none of them could. Nor was the lower middle order able to come in and provide the finishng touch. In the end Pakistan only added 50 runs in the last 10 overs, and lost three wickets in the process.

Sharjeel got 50, Babar’s 84 helped him equal a particular record, Malik and Akmal got 39 apiece. For the bowlers, Hazlewood’s 3 for 32 was the centrepiece, Cummins got 1 for 42, Stanlake his first career wicket with 1 for 55, and Head 2 for 65, with Faulkner conceding 62 for no wicket. All of them bowled their full 10 overs.

7.04am GMT

50th over: Pakistan 263-7 (Rizwan 14, Amir 4)

Faulkner to bowl the last over. Dishes up the classic wrist-spinning slower ball to Rizwan first up, and he can only squeeze it back to the bowler. Dot balls in the last, that’s an achievement. Rizwan glances a single, Amir clouts one run off the inside edge. They’re not really playing big shots, and they’re not really sprinting the runs with full desperation. Surely at this point you just got for everything? They get two runs into the vacant leg side, but then Rizwan refuses a second from the next ball when they surely should have been risking it to go for everything. There’s only one ball to come, for Pete’s sake. Amir faces it, slaps it over point, but the sweeper comes in and Pakistan takes six from the final over.

6.56am GMT

49th over: Pakistan 257-7 (Rizwan 10, Amir 2)

Rizwan. Comedy batting. Swings and misses. Plays the look-away ramp shot to Cummins, and somehow hits an accidental four. Swings and misses again. The batsmen close out the over with three singles. This is a deeply frustrating close for Pakistan after such a good start. Sarfraz Ahmed would have been handy in this situation, wouldn’t he?

6.54am GMT

48th over: Pakistan 250-7 (Rizwan 4, Amir 1)

Seriously, Josh Hazlewood is ridiculous. Amir wants to ramp him, but Hazlewood gets too much left from a pitch like this. Then he concedes a single slashed away behind point. Rizwan can’t time the next, and then it’s his turn to be beaten on the ramp shot. Finally gets a single, should get two but he eats grass on the attempted turn, and they have to bail out. Amir finishes off by backing away and having the sort of air swing that could eventually cause a hurricane in Japan. Two from the over, Hazlewood 3-32 from his 10. In a different league.

6.49am GMT

47th over: Pakistan 248-7 (Rizwan 3, Amir 0)

Rizwan, the wicketkeeper. Amir, the left-arm seamer. Up to them to find enough runs to make this score competitive. It’s decent, but probably needs 20 more. And they won’t come from Cummins. What an over. Zips past the bat, jammed straight to the field. His pace makes it very difficult when you don’t have your eye in yet. Rizwan can only get two runs from a third-man shot after the wicket fell first ball.

6.43am GMT

The kind of wicket that falls at this time of day. The left-hander backs away and tries to slap over cover, doesn’t get much of the ball, and it hangs in the air long enough for Head to get back from mid-off and take the catch.

6.41am GMT

46th over: Pakistan 246-6 (Imad 9, Rizwan 1)

A couple of singles from Hazlewood before the wicket, a couple after, and he’s six balls away from concluding a truly remarkable day of bowling.

6.39am GMT

What a piece of bowling from Hazlewood. Akmal gone just when he was needed most – he advanced at Hazlewood, it’s debatable whether the bowler had time to adjust but it looked like he dug that ball in shorter than expected. Perhaps he was just going to try to evade the Pakistani’s shot, but Australia’s strike bowler got the ball to leap at Akmal’s throat, the line was right up at his face as well, and Akmal advancing gave himself no time to adjust. In the end he could only bring the bat handle up to protect himself, and the gloved ball flew through to Wade for a simple take. Hazlewood has 3 for 28 in his ninth.

6.36am GMT

45th over: Pakistan 242-5 (Akmal 38, Imad 7)

Akmal to third man again for a single, been loving that. Imad is left-handed, and he steps away a bit to leg to make sure he gets an even finer edge. Using Cummins’ pace, that flies down to third man for four, the fieldsman there is squarer. Imad Wasim is a decent bat – five not-outs in a dozen innings before today mean that he averages in the 40s in ODIs. But it’s not just fluke, he’s now passed 300 runs in those innings, including a coupel of 50s in England.

6.32am GMT

44th over: Pakistan 235-5 (Akmal 36, Imad 2)

Creamed, get on top. Is Umar Akmal going to do that? After a sensible flick for two runs with some hard running, he gets a decent length ball from Faulkner but decides it has to go. One foot down the wicket, drive on the up, over long-on, and that went as far back as Shoaib Malik’s hit earlier, but was more beautiful in its timing. Akmal stayed in the pose for about 15 seconds after the shot, really enjoying that one. Inhale, exhale… for him that looked almost post-coital. A single to midwicket follows, then a good comeback from Faulkner as he keeps Imad scoreless from the last three balls.

6.27am GMT

43rd over: Pakistan 226-5 (Akmal 27, Imad 2)

It’s all down to Akmal now, really. Imad Wasim comes in and gets away quickly, flicking to leg. Akmal glides Hazlewood again, Imad drives him through cover, Akmal glances. Four singles and the wicket, and J-Haze has two overs to go.

6.24am GMT

There won’t be a fourth ODI hundred for Babar, as he ends his 21st innings with 1037 runs to his name. It was Hazlewood’s short ball, Babar didn’t get all of the pull shot, and sprinting in from midwicket Handscomb was able to dive forward and just get his fingers under the ball. The catch looks a bit ropey from one camera angle in particular, but the third umpire is satisfied that enough hand is beneath the ball there and rules the catch clean.

6.21am GMT

42nd over: Pakistan 222-4 (Babar 84, Akmal 25)

Faulkner continuing, six singles from the over as the build continues. A couple of overs away from the attempted launch. Akmal could have been gone from the first ball after he drove to Cummins at point and took off. Cummins threw at the non-striker’s end but missed narrowly. Double Nelson.

6.18am GMT

41st over: Pakistan 216-4 (Babar 81, Akmal 22)

It looks easy until Josh Hazlewood is back at his best. His line is so suffocating, his lengths so consistent, that all the batsmen can do is run three singles to third man. Not bad as a bowler when you’re in the last 10 overs of an ODI.

6.13am GMT

40th over: Pakistan 213-4 (Babar 80, Akmal 20)

Akmal keeps auditioning for a role as Sensible Man, driving Faulkner down the ground for a single. Babar gets the full-paced length ball on the pads, and that’s just where he wants it. Lofts the on-drive for four, deliberately lifted, perfect timing, and it skips over the rope. Drives a single, Akmal does the same, Babar again, Akmal again. Sometimes it looks easy.

6.08am GMT

39th over: Pakistan 204-4 (Babar 74, Akmal 17)

Everything is short for Cummins. Almost everything. That lets Babar cut a single, Akmal pull another. Gets fuller, and Babar has been good through square leg, flicks a couple of runs with ease. Cummins doesn’t like it and lets loose with two genuine bouncers, the second of which swerves violently through the air after Babar evades it, and Wade does very well to stop it soaring away for four byes. The last ball? Short, you’ll be surprised to know. Babar pulls, flat-bats back at the bowler, and Cummins drops the searing chance in his follow-through.

6.05am GMT

38th over: Pakistan 200-4 (Babar 71, Akmal 16)

A couple of singles through cover, a Babar leg glance for two, then another cover run. Faulkner goes for five, and has bowled six overs for 32. The 200 is up, and Babar might even be vaguely thinking about a century of his own.

6.03am GMT

37th over: Pakistan 195-4 (Babar 67, Akmal 15)

Nice work from Cummins, as he comes back to replace Stanlake. Exactly what they want from him: fast, short, fierce, difficult. Each batsmen gets one single from the over, both of them mis-hit due to the pace. In between times, the over is mostly notable for Umar Akmal hopping about like an animated rabbit trying to defend the attacking lengths. He’s settling into an innings now, Akmal. There is still time to bide before any closing attack with the bat.

5.57am GMT

36th over: Pakistan 193-4 (Babar 66, Akmal 14)

Head finishes up his spell as well: three singles, two dot balls, it’s all going well until he flights the final delivery and Babar drops underneath it, winds up, and sends it soaring long over deep midwicket for six.

5.55am GMT

35th over: Pakistan 184-4 (Babar 59, Akmal 12)

That’s what the good Umar Akmal can do. Full ball from Stanlake, simple flick off the pads, but with sufficient strength that it soars out to deep midwicket for a one-bounce four. There’s a wide, then he’s bogged down until the last ball of the over where he pushes a single into the off side. Stanlkae finishes his day of bowling with 1 for 55, remembering that 20 of those came from one early over. The run rate for Pakistan is 5.25, still a good base to launch from if they can keep wickets in hand for another seven or eight overs.

5.50am GMT

34th over: Pakistan 178-4 (Babar 59, Akmal 7)

Head bowling his ninth, and Maxwell hasn’t been used at all today. Does this mean he’s now in the side as a specialist batsman? And does this mean he should be the one batting up at No4 today instead of Head? Mixed messages. Meanwhile, Akmal and Babar have changed roles too. Akmal works the sensible single off his pads, Babar goes back and slogs two balls on the pull shot over midwicket, nearly getting caught, and scores a couple of runs from each. Babar bat speed, can you play the pull? Yasir, Yasir, three bags would have been nice but he couldn’t buy a wicket this summer.

5.46am GMT

33rd over: Pakistan 173-4 (Babar 55, Akmal 6)

Here comes Akmal, batting like Sharjeel Khan without the reliability. Beaten outside off, flays Stanlake and it floats just over cover. Two runs. Gets a couple more on the glance, then flicks a single and keeps the strike. Can’t watch.

Look, you’ve got to expect a keeper trying to grasp a sharp-turning Head snorter at the WACA to struggle. #AUSvPAK

5.41am GMT

32nd over: Pakistan 167-4 (Babar 54, Akmal 1)

That is… just awful cricket. Is Umar Akmal the worst apparently good cricketer in the world today? I mean, there are battlers who just aren’t that good, and they try hard and do their best. Then there’s him, someone who is actually very talented, who just doesn’t seem to care. Goes out and does ludicrous things, doesn’t consider the team position, doesn’t actually seem to try. None of it sits right. And this over? He gets a wide ball from Head, charges, has an almighty slog and misses completely.

Ladies and gentlemen that right there is our keeper on the India tour. #AUSvPAK

5.37am GMT

31st over: Pakistan 162-4 (Babar 50, Akmal 0)

The ball before Malik’s dismissal, Babar brought up his fifty with a single to third man. But haven’t we praised him enough? Umar Akmal doesn’t often make good decisions, but he actually leaves a ball and defends a ball in this over, before slamming one into the ground that nearly bounces over his head and onto his stumps.

5.33am GMT

It’s been a fine little knock from Malik, but it’s done, and Stanlake gets his first wicket in international cricket. Good on him. Nice ball, back of a length, angled in, seams away a touch, and Malik is again just looking to push at it and hope for some contact towards third man, I fancy. Doesn’t get much, just the nick through to Wade, and the beanpole bowler is surrounded by a mosh of happy little tiny people trying to pat his stomach.

5.31am GMT

30th over: Pakistan 160-3 (Babar 49, Malik 39)

A simple single to mid-off to start the over, and Babar equals the record. That means he joins Richards, Trott, Pietersen and de Kock in reaching 1000 in 21 innings. Some feat for a young player. Malik nudges a couple of runs short of long-off, then they trade four singles from Faulkner. Runs still coming, seven from the over.

5.27am GMT

29th over: Pakistan 153-3 (Babar 46, Malik 35)

Stanlake is back as well, for his seventh over and his first go at Malik. The latter gentleman is not too bothered, forcing a run through cover, leaving Babar to knock a couple of runs to leg and then a single to the off side. Malik stretches for the last ball outside off, and edges it fine for four. Deliberate, accidental, the runs just keep coming. The 150 goes by. May be worth mentioning that Australia’s leading ODI wicket-taker for 2016, Adam Zampa, is still on the bench and hasn’t played this series? No wonder he looks so sad. And in that uniform, about nine years old.

This kid hasn’t had a Fruit Roll-Up in his play-lunch all week. #AusvPak

5.21am GMT

28th over: Pakistan 145-3 (Babar 43, Malik 30)

Faulkner, left-arm over to a right-hander. That’s why he spears the ball into Babar’s pads, would have been hitting halfway up middle, and gets denied because it pitched outside leg stump. That frustration is compounded by the two leg byes proceeding from the contact, and Faulkner vents it with a wide bouncer. Babar glances a single, Malik glides one. Easy does it right now as this partnership builds.

5.16am GMT

27th over: Pakistan 140-3 (Babar 42, Malik 29)

It’s not all out attack from Malik, he’s happy to see off Hazlewood. Soaks up four balls, blocking and leaving, before taking a single. Babar squeezes out one more next ball, and that’s it for the over.

5.15am GMT

26th over: Pakistan 138-3 (Babar 41, Malik 28)

Alright, he can still play. If there’s one thing we know about Babar, it’s that an elephant never forgets. And Babar proves it here by skipping out and lifting Head over long-off for four! Just his third boundary. They push mid-off back in reponse to that shot, so babar drives to him immediately, along the gound, for a single. Then Malik gets down low and slaps four himself over mid-on. This is thrilling stuff, it beats the dive in the deep. Risky, but they’re taking the power back. A last single and there have been 11 from the over.

5.09am GMT

25th over: Pakistan 127-3 (Babar 36, Malik 22)

Hazlewood. The Aussies must be feeling that this little patch of play has gone too far. Malik looks too good. So the main man is on, in the absence of Mitch Starc as an offensive weapon. Malik is ungainly but effective, both feet off the ground as he leaps and cuts a Hoff short ball, but doesn’t nail it and it skews down to third man for one. Babar drives more conventionally for a single, Malik goes behind point once more for another. Don’t forget to send me in an email, if you’re reading out there, on any topic cricket or otherwise.

5.06am GMT

24th over: Pakistan 124-3 (Babar 35, Malik 20)

Ok, ok, that’s a better six. After Babar ticks over the strike, Malik comes down the wicket at Head, moves well outside leg, and opens up a big arc to swing through. Deposits that deep into the back of the grandstand as well, that was a huge hit. Pulls the single next, Babar flicks another, Malik is using his feet beautifully now and skips back to give himself the shorter length to cut another run off his stumps. This is some batting.

That’s a superb shot from Malik! #AUSvPAK

5.01am GMT

23rd over: Pakistan 114-3 (Babar 33, Malik 12)

Six runs! And the least spectacular that you’ll ever see. Four three balls, Faulkner is beating Malik outside the off stump. Then the batsman opens the face and pushes behind point for two. Babar is slow coming back for the second, so Wade has a ping at the far end. Mid-off was moving across to cover it, but Faulkner had has back to that fieldsman and so stuck his hand out to try saving the ball. Instead he parries it wide of mid-off and it reaches the rope. Those are the kind of sixes the crowds come to see.

4.59am GMT

22nd over: Pakistan 108-3 (Babar 33, Malik 6)

Four singles from Head’s next over, one of those stalemate overs where both sides will be happy. Third man, long-on, standard spinner fare.

There is never a final goodbye in Pak cricket..

4.55am GMT

21st over: Pakistan 104-3 (Babar 31, Malik 4)

A double-play of nearly-there. If that makes any sense. Babar drives at Faulkner’s first ball and it’s too short to do so. Strikes high on the bat and lobs back to the bowler. He dives forward but it just dips too far and he can’t snare it in the ends of his fingers. But the ball then bursts through and spins back onto the non-striker’s stumps. Shoaib Malik has his bat in the air, exciting the Australians, but his foot is down within the bounds of the crease. Not out. Babar gets off strike to third man, then Malik defends and leaves before inside-edging Faulkner away for four more runs. Profitable shot for Pakistan today. They’re in triple figures.

4.51am GMT

20th over: Pakistan 99-3 (Babar 30)

Oh, that’s soft. No good at all. Travis Head shouldn’t be a threat to top-line batsmen, and Asad Shafiq certainly is one. Charges, tries a big drive, the ball is angling away from him, takes the top edge of the diagonal and lobs gently to short third man, Khawaja just inside the circle. Again Head strikes from the last ball of the over. And that one only went for two runs first.

4.46am GMT

19th over: Pakistan 97-2 (Babar 29, Shafiq 4)

That’s better. That’s perfect, in fact. James Faulkner comes on to bowl, left-arm allsorts, seamers and slow balls, and the batsmen get a single from every ball. Six an over. The pull, the cut, the glide. Bit short all over.

4.45am GMT

18th over: Pakistan 91-2 (Babar 26, Shafiq 1)

Lovely when you’re a part-timer and you get a wicket and it lets you bowl a tidy next over. Two singles from Head, after being collared by Sharjeel. Babar is 26 off 45 now. Certainly not an emergency – I am one of those spectators liable to get impatient too early – but he’ll need to bat long and make up some of that ground later.

4.41am GMT

17th over: Pakistan 89-2 (Babar 25, Shafiq 0)

Asad Shafiq the new batsman, but Babar on strike, and again Cummins pins him back on his stumps and has him unable to score. One ball, two balls, three balls, four. Finally Babar gets his groove, twice driving Cummins past mid-off for twos. He’s lovely on the straight shots, this kid. Upright and correct and all that stuff cited by people who love talking about coaching manuals.

4.37am GMT

16th over: Pakistan 85-2 (Babar 21)

It’s an expensive over, but it buys a wicket. Head starts it to Azam, who looks comfortable against spin and drives to long-on for a run. Then Sharjeel preys on Head’s shorter length, not once, not twice… a cut shot for four, a pull shot for four, then a big drive that takes the thick edge for four. Three boundaries in a row raises a half century for the Pakistan dasher, but the last ball just isn’t quite short enough, and as he looks to repeat the cut shot, it straightens on him and takes a bottom edge into his leg stump. Head tells a duck off, or something along those lines.

4.33am GMT

15th over: Pakistan 72-1 (Sharjeel 38, Babar 20)

Babar’s struggles continue, with an inside edge from Cummins that this time goes all the way to fine leg for four. The couple of singles he scores that over are better, worked either side of the wicket. Sharjeel squeezes out a run against the shorter ball as well. There have been a lot of ads for The Book of Mormon, as in the parody musical, and now there are also ads for The Book of Mormon, as in the actual Book of Mormon. It’s getting hard to tell them apart.

4.30am GMT

14th over: Pakistan 65-1 (Sharjeel 37, Babar 14)

Travis Head on. Sharjeel breathes a sigh of relief. Goes back to a short ball, cuts the crap out of it through point. Boundary. But he gets a bit spooked when Head nails him on the pad as Sharjeel tried to sweep. That might ahve been a better DRS review if they had one. Probably sliding down leg? Right-arm offie around the wicket to the left-hander.

4.22am GMT

13th over: Pakistan 61-1 (Sharjeel 33, Babar 14)

Alright. I want to be optimistic about Babar Azam, but he’s officially bogged. They tyres are in the mud. Not that he needs to be carving the ball around at 100 strike rate, but he does need to find singles a bit more readily. Faces four balls of the Cummins over, gets one run, and that nearly saw Sharjeel run out by Warner. Sharjeel gets the other run from the over. Cummins has only gone for nine from his three.

4.20am GMT

12th over: Pakistan 59-1 (Sharjeel 32, Babar 13)

Six on the trot from Stanlake, the comeback continues. I like this from Smith, while he’s bowling well why not keep the new guy on, keep his confidence up, let him get through those overs now. Only two singles from the over, Sharjeel pulling one fine, Babar edging past his stumps. The last three balls all have Sharjeel shots flunge at them of varying styles and force, and all end up as dots.

4.15am GMT

11th over: Pakistan 57-1 (Sharjeel 31, Babar 12)

Sharjeel the strike rotator. The Man of a Thousand Faces continues to confound. Yet again, just pops a little single into the off side and gets off strike. Babar against Cummins gets on his toes and plays the back-foot punch, but straight to point. Corrects this next ball, directing it past the field for three. Hard to time, that’s a good stroke. Sharjeel watches a couple of wide bouncers pass by, then plays his own version of the forcing shot, left-handed though, for one more run to keep the strike.

@GeoffLemonSport Pietersen, Trott and de Kock also took 21 ODI innings to get to 1000. Reasonable club.

@GeoffLemonSport the records for fastest to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 all belong to Amla. Hit his straps, you could say.

4.10am GMT

10th over: Pakistan 50-1 (Sharjeel 29, Babar 9)

Stanlake bowling his fifth in a row, and he’s come back incredibly well. 20 from one over, 11 from the over four. Sharjeel immediately off strike again, Babar runs one down to third man, then it’s back to the dot balls, including a big inside edge that dips just in front of Wade from Sharjeel’s drive. Nicks not carrying at the WACA, hey? Sharjeel bunts one more run towards square, and that’s it for the over. The 50 arrives.

4.06am GMT

9th over: Pakistan 47-1 (Sharjeel 27, Babar 8)

Patrick Cummins into the attack, and while it’s a cool day at the WACA he’s already bowling heat. Not far off the 150 km/h mark already, and a couple rip through to the keeper before Babar is ready for them. A couple are played well again but to the field. Babar getting a little stuck, he’ll need to keep his composure. Again, the over just yields a single from the first ball, this time off Sharjeel’s leg.

4.03am GMT

8th over: Pakistan 46-1 (Sharjeel 26, Babar 8)

Good over from Stanlake, just a single first up to Sharjeel. Babar isn’t just blocking, but a couple of decent shots go straight to the field. From the last ball he misses one, and there’s a weird review from the Australians, burning their one DRS challenge. This has hit him in front and low on the pad, but it has taken the inside edge before pad. I think Smith reviewed that based on height, he was the keenest for it from second slip. But he did ask his bowler before he made the final call, and I don’t know what Stanlake said, but he would be unlikely to have a clear view of a split-second inside edge onto pad to work out what came first. That was a classic gamble review, not what the system is designed for, and again we’re back to a situation where an obvious mistake cannot now be corrected. One of the ongoing problems with the current implementation, leaving it in the hands of players who use it tactically.

3.57am GMT

7th over: Pakistan 45-1 (Sharjeel 26, Babar 8)

People want him to rest, but Hazlewood is having a grand old time. Bowling to a watchful Babar, Hazlewood beats the outside edge, beats the inside edge, concedes a couple of runs to a skewed drive in the air, and rips in a good bouncer for good measure. Just a couple from the over, and Pakistan are still above a run a ball by pure virtue of that one big Sharjeel over.

3.53am GMT

6th over: Pakistan 43-1 (Sharjeel 26, Babar 6)

How quickly things change! Stanlake goes for 20 one over, bowls a maiden to Sharjeel the next. And not because the batsman had a change of approach. He smashed one ball straight to point, one into his helmet, one to mid-off, missed a couple, and had a short ball go down leg that should have been a wide but wasn’t. The umpire has squared up the Aussies on the wide count already.

3.50am GMT

5th over: Pakistan 43-1 (Sharjeel 26, Babar 6)

Enter Babar Azam, needing 47 runs today to join Sir Viv as the fastest to 1000 ODI runs, in terms of innings played. He defends one, watches a wide bouncer go down leg, then plays a sumptuous square drive that calls for an excellent diving save from Faulkner and ends up scoring two, then an equally good on-drive from Hazlewood’s straighter ball that does make it to the fence. Classy start.

3.43am GMT

He’s dangerous. Right-arm over to the right-hander, Hazlewood spears the ball at the stumps, maybe moved in a touch off the seam, Hafeez was falling over and trying to play across the line towards midwicket and missed. Hit low on the pad, on around off stump, and was stone motherless gone. You know it’s plumb when the batsman doesn’t even ask his partner about DRS.

3.41am GMT

4th over: Pakistan 36-0 (Hafeez 4, Sharjeel 26)

Sharjeel has some words that he’d like me to eat. A couple of runs through midwicket to get going for the over, then a pull for six over square! Stanlake gives you the length, for sure. That wasn’t controlled, Sharjeel picked it up from outside off, but got enough timing on the drag to avoid it going straight up. Then flashes outside off for four. Four more to follow, finally a controlled shot, the square drive hard into the ground and over point. Lovely. Then follows up shovelling yet another four through mid-on and off to the rope! The field is up, and Sharjeel has taken 20 from the over. Wow.

3.37am GMT

3rd over: Pakistan 16-0 (Hafeez 4, Sharjeel 6)

Just got our first “No doubt about it” from Michael Clarke. Took until the third over, crazy stuff, but cross that off your bingo card. Doesn’t look like a bad over in terms of runs from the bat, but Hazlewood is flattered given he bowls way down leg and this time Hafeez gets enough pad on it to send it away for four leg byes. I’ve always thought it’s a very safe way to score runs for your team if you could manage it deliberately. There’s another wide outside off as Josh tries to tempt Hafeez into something rash, not always the hardest task, but the opener sticks to his own. Then drives the last ball square for two. Profitable over really. Ooh, and a second NDAI. “Steve Smith will have a plan, there’s no doubt about it.” Making up for lost time.

3.31am GMT

2nd over: Pakistan 9-0 (Hafeez 2, Sharjeel 6)

Newsflash: Sharjeel does not agree. Hafeez turns over the strike first ball, tapped into the covers again. Stanlake, 6-foot-plenty, gets mega bounce from the next couple of balls, one so wide that even Sharjeel ignores it, one that steeples over the edge of the diagonally flashed blade. When Stanlake goes full, Sharjeel wallops it down the ground for four, but it was a bit of a slog, unconvincing. And continues to be so as he almost pulls to Handscomb at square leg but drops short. Just in case that wasn’t enough for the over, the left-handed Sharjeel finishes it off with a slog at the angled ball that hangs in the air but clears cover for a couple. Crystal ball, I see dismissals in his future.

3.28am GMT

1st over: Pakistan 2-0 (Hafeez 1, Sharjeel 0)

Cautious start for Pakistan. Hazlewood is unlucky as his first ball clips Hafeez’s pad going down leg side, but is called a wide anyway. After that he gets his line right, good bounce and carry outside Hafeez’s off stump. They bring in a third slip as soon as the first legitimate ball gets a bit of shape away. Lovely stuff, and all that Hafeez can do is block the second-last ball into the covers for a single. They’ll need to take some time on this pitch, the openers. Not that Sharjeel is likely to agree.

3.16am GMT

Now, the important conversational topic that everyone loves. The weather. We’ve got a very reasonable day in Perth, it’s still morning local time, 11:20 is the scheduled start so that this game matches the 14:20 east-coast start time preferred by broadcasters and schedulers. So it’s only 22 degrees, and isn’t tipped to get much above 24 this afternoon. Lovely, after some of the oven days that you can get for cricket in Perth, sitting in the WACA sun all afternoon. Seriously guys, just chuck up some shade cloth hey?

3.07am GMT

Mohammad Hafeez and Sharjeel Khan will open for Pakistan, the former as stand-in captain after Azhar Ali’s hamstring injury, the latter as Pakistan’s T20 dasher trying to make it work in the longer format. Hafeez had the golden touch in Melbourne, leading that win and top-scored with 72 in the run chase.

Babar Azam at 3, who today can equal Viv Richards’ mark for the fewest innings to make 1000 ODI runs. Asad Shafiq, who played so well in the Gabba Test. Shoaib Malik, whose experience was so vital in the Melbourne ODI. Umar Akmal, the ultimate hit-and-miss merchant. Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps, Imad Wasim the left-arm spinner who can bat, then the pacers in Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, and Junaid Khan.

3.01am GMT

Hello! Here I am indeed. And the main news is the Australians are taking the interesting tack of bowling first at the WACA. The means, predictably enough, that they’ve left out the leg-spinner Adam Zampa again, which is a bit bizarre given how well he’s bowled in the BBL and in his entire ODI career to date. Four specialist fast bowlers if you count James Faulkner, with the off-spin of Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head in the top order the only variation.

11.54pm GMT

Geoff will be here shortly. But one man who won’t is Chris Lynn – the big-hitting batsman is out of the remainder of this series – and the next one against New Zealand. Full story here:

Related: Australia batsman Chris Lynn ruled out of ODI series with neck injury

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