Thanks to a brilliance by Steve Smith, Australia cruised to a 7 wicket win in the 2nd T20I match played at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Tuesday.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to bat first. Babar Azam continued from where he left in the 1st T20I. Pat Cummins got the breakthrough dismissing the out of form Fakhar Zaman for 2. Haris Sohail fell to bad stroke which put Babar Azam under pressure. At the end of 6 overs, Pakistan were struggling at 32 for 2.
After the power play overs, Rizwan and Azam could not capitalise which made life tough for the visitors. As things looked rosy for Pakistan, Ashton Agar dismissed Rizwan for 14 off 16 balls. Rizwan and Babar added 33 runs for the 3rd wicket. Asif Ali failed to rise occasion as he got out for 4. Iftikhar Ahmed came to the crease and took time to settle along with Babar Azam.
Pakistani captain Babar Azam reached his fifty off 38 balls and was run out while attempting the 2nd run with a direct throw from David Warner. Iftikhar took the attack to Kane Richardson scoring 22 runs in the 19th over and reached his fifty off 29 balls. Pakistan posted 150 for 6 in 20 overs.
Chasing 151 runs to win, David Warner looked in crackling form with aggressive intent. Mohammed Aamir got the breakthrough for Pakistan getting the wicket of Warner for 20 off 11 balls. Warner and Finch added 30 runs in just 3 overs. Mohammad Irfan dismissed Australian captain Aaron Finch to give hopes of Pakistan winning the match. At the end of 6 overs, Australia were 48 for 2.
Steve Smith looked in sensational touch and made the look easy on a good batting pitch. Ben McDermott gave good support to Smith. Smith created pressure right from word go and made sure that Australia never lost grip to the chase. Imad Wasim got the wicket of Ben McDermott for 21 off 22 balls. Smith and McDermott added 58 runs for the 3rd wicket.
Smith continued to maintain the momentum and remained not out on a superb 80 off 51 balls. Ashton Turner hit the winning runs. Smith and Turner added unbeaten 45 runs for the 4th wicket. Australia won the match by 7 wickets with 9 balls to spare.
Australia 151 for 3 in 18.3 overs (Steve Smith 80*, Mohammad Irfan 1/27) beat Pakistan 150 for 6 in 20 overs ( Iftikhar Ahmed 62*, Babar Azam 50, Ashton 2/23) by 7 wickets.
For his brilliant 80*, Smith was awarded the man of the match. Australia takes a 1-0 lead in the 3 match T20I series. The third and final T20I match will be played at Perth on 8th November.