Cricket: Smith, Warner guide Australia to 231-9


ABU DHABI: Steven Smith and David Warner hit contrasting half-centuries to take Australia to 231-9 in the third and final day-night international against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Smith notched a sedate 105-ball 77 with only three boundaries while Warner hit a quick 63-ball 56 with six boundaries and a six after Australia won the toss and opted to bat on a flat Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch.

Pakistan were without their captain Misbah-ul Haq who surprisingly withdrew himself for rest after a poor run of scores and handed the captaincy to Shahid Afridi.

Misbah was out for a first-ball duck in Pakistan’s 93-run defeat in the first one-day in Sharjah and scored 15 in the second in Dubai which Pakistan lost by five wickets.

Pakistan also dropped Umar Akmal, injured Wahab Riaz and Raza Hasan to bring in Umar Amin, Sohaib Maqsood, Anwar Ali and Sohail Tanvir.

With the series already in the bag having won the first two matches, Australia rested paceman Mitchell Johnson and off-spinner Nathan Lyon to bring in Mitchell Starc and Phil Hughes.

Australia were off to a confident start of 48 before Aaron Finch miscued a drive and was caught at mid-off for 18.

Smith added an invaluable 54 for the second wicket with Warner as Australia tried to consolidate the innings.

Warner hit spinner Zulfiqar Babar for six to reach his ninth half-century off 41 balls before he gave a return catch to Afridi.

Australian skipper George Bailey fell for nought while Glenn Maxwell holed out off Afridi for 20.

Paceman Tanvir then had Smith, Phil Hughes (five) and James Faulkner (33) to finish with 3-40 in his ten overs.

Afridi finished with 2-44.

Faulkner hit one boundary and a six but failed to give the much needed impetus to the innings and was dismissed in the final over.

Source: APP

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