Australia beat Pakistan by 92 runs in the first One Day International (ODI) at Brisbane’s Gabba Stadium on Friday.
Australia set up a meaty total for Pakistan as former adversaries Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell combined for a vital sixth-wicket partnership of 82 runs to help Australia post 268/9.
Pakistan were hamstrung by Azhar Ali, who retired hurt after he lost his opening partner, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Pakistan’s were still on course when Babar Azam and Umar Akmal were at the crease, but their game stagnated after the partnership came to an end.
Wade was awarded Player of the Match. “It was challenging at the top, it was swinging and seaming around. Maxi took the pressure off me, and I was just looking to get him on strike. I was absolutely cooked (by the last over). They were taking the pace off, I was swinging way too hard. If the spinners bowled into the wicket it was hard to hit them down the ground,” he said.
After captain Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat, Australia was 78-5 before being rescued by the pair. Wade was unbeaten on 100, bringing up his maiden century with a single on the final ball, while all-rounder Maxwell scored 60.
Maxwell was making his return to the Australian side after he was dropped and fined last month for saying it was “painful” having to bat below Wade in Victoria state’s Sheffield Shield first-class side.
There didn’t appear to be any residual problems or animosity between the pair on Friday, although Maxwell came in ahead of Wade.
A strong opening spell from Mohammad Amir (2-54) left Australia in trouble. Amir clean-bowled David Warner and then handed Smith his first ODI golden duck in successive deliveries, meaning Chris Lynn would face a hat-trick ball on debut.
He survived, but not for much longer; two overs after sending a Hasan Ali delivery into the grandstand, he misread a slow ball and skied one behind to Mohammad Rizwan.
Lynn, making his 50-overs debut for Australia, has smashed 309 runs in five games for the Brisbane Heat in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
Ali finished with figures of 3-58.
The teams will play five ODIs. Australia won the three-test series 3-0.
Pakistan is without two players who have had to return home for family reasons.
Vice-captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed returned Thursday to be with his ill mother, and Mohammad Rizwan will be the wicketkeeper Friday.
Sarfraz’s departure came just days after fast bowler Mohammad Irfan left the team following the death of his mother.
Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Billy Stanlake.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali.
Umpires: Mick Martell, Australia, and Chettithody Shamsuddin, India.
TV Umpires: Chris Gaffaney, New Zealand.
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand. -AP