Hafeez’s Excellence takes Pakistan to Victory at MCG, Series levels 1-1

A long 12-year drought has come to an end after Pakistan finally managing to beat Australia in Australia by 6 wickets in 2nd ODI of 5-match series. Australia after winning the toss once again decided to bat first but brilliant bowling by Pakistani Bowlers limited the Australian score to 220 runs only, that was later chased down by Pakistan successfully.

Initially it was Junaid Khan who was making comeback to the side after two years, sent David Warner and Usman Khawaja back to pavilion. Then Muhammad Amir took his first wicket of Mitchell Marsh who came out to bat up in the order. Australian wickets kept on trembling and no batsman could survive in front of Pakistani bowlers.

Pakistan’s pacer Muhammad Amir bagged 3 wickets while Junaid Khan and Imad Wasim had 2 wickets each to their name. Hassan Ali and former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik picked up a single wicket each. For Australia, the skipper Steven Smith scored 60 runs and wicket keeper batsman and centurion of first ODI, Mathew Wade scored 35.

Chasing a small total of 221 on board, Muhammad Hafeez and Sherjeel Khan provided the team a solid start before Sherjeel Khan fell scoring 29 runs. Hafeez who was captaining Pakistan instead of injured Azhar Ali scored a brilliant knock of 72 runs and helped Pakistan to be on rightly on the track to achieve the target.

A handy contribution of Babar Azam of 34 runs in a 72-run partnership with Hafeez laid a perfect foundation for the others to lead the team towards victory. After the back to back fall of Babar and Hafeez, Malik perfectly utilized himself in the middle being an experienced player and scored quick 42 runs. Courtesy to a couple of Umar Akmal’s boundaries and a wide in last over that finally made Pakistan victorious.

With that victory, Pakistan’s 16-match losing streak against Australia in Australia in all international formats also came to an end. For being aggressive in the field as a skipper and utilizing his bowlers well and sensibly, the standing captain Muhammad Hafeez’s was awarded with 15th Man of the Match award since his comeback to the team in 2010, which is a maximum number for any Pakistani player during that period. The third ODI between the two sides will be played at Perth on 19th January.

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