Pakistan easily beat Australia and clinch ODI series 2-1

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Azam makes second successive century in an unbeaten 105

LAHORE, Pakistan, April 3, (AP): Pakistan won its first one-day international series against Australia in 20 years after a nine-wicket romp. The home side clinched the series 2-1 after a depleted Australia was bowled out for 210 in 41.5 overs, and the chase ended on 214-1 in 37.5 overs. Pakistan captain Babar Azam made his second successive century in an unbeaten 105 and Imam-ul-Haq continued his dream run of form with an unbeaten 89.

Australia posted 300-plus scores in the last two ODIs but crashed against the Pakistan pace. Haris Rauf (3-39) and Shaheen Afridi (2-40) jolted the top order and young fast bowler Mohammad Wasim polished off the lower order to take 3-40. Australia, without leading players, surprisingly won the first game in which an Imam century went in vain. But Babar and Imam combined brilliantly in the next two games, both scoring centuries on Thursday, then combining for an unbeaten 190 on Saturday.

The series victory pushed Pakistan to eighth place in the Super League from which the top seven teams will directly qualify for next year’s Cricket World Cup in India. Australia was fourth. Babar and Imam joined in the fourth over after Nathan Ellis found Fakhar Zaman’s leading edge on 17 with an off-cutter and Marnus Labuschagne took a simple catch at mid-off. Both batters dominated the sevenman Australian attack, especially Babar, who hit 12 boundaries in his 115- ball knock. Imam took his runs tally to 298 in the series during yet another superb 100- ball knock, hitting six fours and a six.

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