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Tight spells, Smith's blazing knock helps Australia draw first blood
Second T2OI

Tight spells, Smith's blazing knock helps Australia draw first blood

Australia outclassed Pakistan in all departments and bagged a sensational win by seven wickets. Steve Smith turned out to be the thorny bush for the Pakistan bowling attack - who ran out of ideas in halting his onslaught.

The pugnacious batsman remained unbeaten on 80 and decimated every bowler. Pakistan elected to bat first and hobbled to 150 which was never going to be enough against a mighty strong batting line-up who seldom backfires.

Apart from Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed, nobody else batted at a swift strike rate and couldn't clear the boundary ropes consistently.

There weren't enough partnerships by the touring party. Fakhar Zaman got dismissed in the power play and that forced Babar Azam to hold the innings together and bat warily.

Haris Sohail perished while trying to negotiate with the pace and fierce bounce and ended up giving a simple caught and bowl opportunity to Kane Richardson, much like the last game.

Mohammad Rizwan gives his all on the field but lacks the muscle to whack maximums out of the park. He was stumped while trying to smother the spin of Ashton Agar and the regular shedding of wickets denied Pakistan from posting an impregnable total.

Asif Ali has benefited from the dearth of power hitters in Pakistan domestic circuit, however, it might be becoming increasingly difficult for the selectors to pursue with him, keeping in view his consistently inconsistent performances.

Shadab Khan is gradually coming back to form as he only conceded 25 runs in his quota of overs. Imad Wasim is an important cog in the T20 team though of late he has been unable to strangle the batsmen on a tight stump to stump line.

Mohammad Amir bowled well in patches until Steve Smith unleashed his full range and outsmarted him in the last five overs. The footwork was exquisite and the placement was immaculate from Smith - who has not looked back since his comeback to international cricket.

Mohammad Irfan's seething bouncers put the top three in some bother but he wasn't that relentless with the lines and bowled some loose deliveries that allowed the batters to play jailbreak shots which consequently released the pressure.

Wahab Riaz doesn't get sideways movement and was too predictable with the ploy that allowed the hosts to latch onto anything loose and they lined him up. He went for a whopping 33 runs in just three overs.

The 3-0 drubbing handed to Sri Lanka less than a week ago and now an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series means the men in yellow are eying back to back whitewashes.