Australia are in all sorts of trouble, with the tourists 3-29 and both openers, including out of form skipper Aaron Finch, out for ducks. Live coverage!
Welcome to live coverage of the third ODI – and series decider – between Australia and Pakistan from Lahore. First ball: 9pm
Australia are in all sorts of trouble, with the tourists 2-0 and both openers, including out of form skipper Aaron Finch, out for ducks.
In the hours after their incredible second ODI loss in Lahore, Marnus Labuschagne said there was “pressure” on every batter to score because of the rising stocks in Australia.
Well, on that basis, captain Finch was a man under pressure ahead of their series decider against Pakistan on Saturday.
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Sent in after Pakistan won their third straight toss, Travis Head missed Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first ball – a full toss that bamboozled the in-form left-hander.
Next over, with Australia still yet to score, Finch missed a straight one from Haris Rauf and was given out lbw.
The long-standing Australian skipper has not scored an international century in more than a year and had made just three half-centuries during that time.
On Thursday, his golden duck was the latest disappointment.
Marnus Labuschagne joined his teammates in the dressing sheds soon after, as Australia slumped to 3-6.
Ben McDermott, who scored a century in the second ODI, and Marcus Stoinis have moved the score on to 31-3 off 10 overs.
Australia has made one change, including left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff for Mitch Swespon, who has been left out.
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“The likes of Travis Head and Ben McDermott have shown just in two games that the opportunity is there, and they’ve taken it and it’s awesome to see these guys come out and play the way they have been,” Labuschagne said following their dramatic six-wicket loss, as Pakistan chased down 348.
“We’ve almost got backups to every position which is good because it means that people are under pressure to perform and I think that’s a good thing for Australian cricket, to make sure people have always got their best foot forward for Australia.
“The depth in the batting and in the bowling stakes at moment is so deep.”
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Australia isn’t expected to make changes for their side, with Ashton Agar still in quarantine and Matthew Renshaw only having his first training session on match eve after answering a SOS.
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Key for Australia will be removing opener Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, who each scores centuries during the epic run-chase.
Azam, whose 114 came off just 83, is in incredible form after starring in the Test series.
“I enjoyed every minute of watching – it was a pity it was against us,” Labuschagne said.
“I sat back and I took some things on board for my own game to learn from that innings.
“I think if we can find a way to get him out early, put a bit more pressure on the middle-to-lower order, we’re a chance but he batted us out of the game today and fair play to him.
“We have to think maybe a little bit more outside the box, I think he’s (ul-Haq) played beautifully.
“He hasn’t really put a foot wrong and he’s the type of player that doesn’t give you many opportunities to get them out.”
AUSTRALIA IN PAKISTAN
First Test: Match drawn
March 12-16: Match drawn
March 21-25: Australia win by 115 runs
Pakistan XI:Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood
Australia XI: Travis Head, Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa
March 29: Australia win by 88 runs
March 31: Pakistan win by six wickets
April 2: Third ODI, Lahore
April 5: Only T20I, Lahore
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Originally published as LIVE: Aussies in all sorts as out-of-sorts skipper falls for ANOTHER duck