What a game we have had in Sharjah! Australia continued their winning momentum and showed Pakistan that they are a team to watch. An easy eight-wicket win was a reminder of how good the Kangaroos can be. As the Indian Premier League action is vying for attention in the nearby shores of India, the second ODI will be played at Sharjah on Sunday.
Pakistan will look to avoid going two down in quick time, because it will become difficult to win the series from there. Australia will hope to ride their winning momentum and keep their winning habit intact.
Haris Sohail (101 in 114 balls) scored his maiden ODI century, although his rate of scoring was not up to the mark. Umar Akmal (48 in 50 balls) looked in fine nick, but got out at the wrong time. A cameo from Imad Wasim (28 in 13 balls) helped Pakistan, but the bowlers weren’t at their best in keeping Australia down.
Pakistan will look back at the first ODI and feel that they weren’t aggressive enough with the bat. Bowling looked a touch under cooked, but there still is so much potency and variety in this line-up.
Pakistan Predicted XI: 1 Imam-ul-Haq 2 Shan Masood 3 Umar Akmal 4 Haris Sohail 5 Shoaib Malik (C) 6 Mohammad Rizwan (WK) 7 Faheem Ashraf 8 Imad Wasim 9 Yasir Shah 10 Usman Shinwari 11 Mohammad Abbas
Captain Aaron Finch and co showed that the series win in India was not a fluke. Their comprehensive performance in the first match was almost on the expected lines. Nathan Coulter-Nile (2/61) showed good control at various points, while Adam Zampa (0/44) looked good.
Finch (116 in 135 balls) picked up an ODI century after a long time, while Shaun Marsh (91*) underlined his importance to the squad with a calm knock. The visitors will hope for more of the same, as they target a 2-0 lead.
Australia Predicted XI: 1 Aaron Finch (C) 2 Usman Khawaja 3 Shaun Marsh 4 Peter Handscomb 5 Marcus Stoinis 6 Glenn Maxwell 7 Alex Carey (WK) 8 Jhye Richardson 9 Pat Cummins 10 Adam Zampa 11 Nathan Lyon
Fantasy Players to Watch
Aaron Finch looks a completely different player now. His troubles earlier this season look to be a nightmare from his distant past now. Expect Finch to continue scoring runs for fun.
Imam-ul-Haq didn’t have a great start to the series, but has had an excellent series against South Africa scoring 271 runs. He will be itching to get back to form.
Umar Akmal is an enigmatic player in Pakistan cricket. Often considered to be one of the most talented, he has frustrated the fans with his inconsistency. As he looks to continue scoring runs, back him to fetch some fantasy points for your side.
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