Babar, Sharjeel impress for Pakistan in tour game

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Babar Azam switched back to limited-overs cricket nicely with 98 off 113 balls © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Babar Azam’s 98 and fifties from Sharjeel Khan and Umar Akmal powered the Pakistanis to 334 before Hasan Ali led the bowling with 3 for 18 to help defeat Cricket Australia XI by 196 runs at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

The Pakistanis were sent in to bat in their only warm-up game before the start of the five-match ODI series. Asad Shafiq opened the innings with Sharjeel, but that experiment failed when he was caught and bowled by fast bowler Henry Thornton who finished with 3 for 69 in his ten overs.

But between Thornton’s first and second wicket, the Pakistanis put on 262 in just over 40 overs. This effort was led by Sharjeel, who scored a 39-ball 62 and put on 83 for the second wicket with Babar, who then stitched partnerships of 78 for the third wicket with Shoaib Malik (49 off 60) and 101 for the fourth with Akmal (54 off 39), before falling two short of a hundred. The Pakistanis’ lower order added 54 off the last seven overs to lift them to 7 for 334. Captain Azhar Ali came in at No. 8 and scored a run off the only ball he faced. Medium-pacer Cameron Green finished with 3 for 59.

The Pakistanis’ opening bowlers Imad Wasim (2 for 23) and Hasan Ali then dealt early blows to the hosts, taking the first four wickets within the first eight overs. A fifth-wicket partnership of 47 between Jason Sangha (20) and Josh Inglis – who top-scored with 70 – brought some stability, but was broken by Malik (2 for 20). Rahat Ali, Mohammad Nawaz and Azhar all took a wicket each, before Hasan returned to finish the innings.

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