10 October 2014
Maxwell, Johnson seal series win
After restricting Pakistan to 215, Australia cruises to five-wicket win in Dubai
Australia rode on Glenn Maxwell's 76 to cruise to series win.
Chasing 216, Australia was never likely to be in deep strife. Without any pressure from the scoreboard, Australia began sedately enough, and even the loss of Aaron Finch (14) and Steve Smith (12), with only 39 on the board, did not stress it out unduly.
Glenn Maxwell, batting at No. 5, had plenty of overs to play with, and took the opportunity to play himself in. Once he had a measure of the bowling and the conditions, Maxwell unleashed some of his trademark shots. The flat mow over midwicket, more than one reverse sweep off the left-arm spinner and some crisp hits down the ground ensured that the bowlers never had any chance to build pressure.
Maxwell added 33 with David Warner and then 85 with George Bailey as Australia stayed well ahead of the game. When Maxwell finally fell, on 76, miscuing a slog-sweep to be caught, Australia had reached 178 and only needed 38 from 87 balls. James Faulkner and Brad Haddin had no trouble taking their team over the line with as many as 40 balls to spare.
When the game began, it was Australia who was under the pump as Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s openers, put up a strong stand up front.
Pakistan’s openers put on 126, but it was then that Mitchell Johnson got a foot in the door and kicked it wide open.
Johnson, who took 3-24 in Australia's 93-run win in the first ODI, put the skids on the innings dismissing Ahmed, Umar Akmal (5) and Shahid Afridi (2) to finish with 3 for 40.
Pakistan, who chose to bat, cruised to its first century stand in 44 innings as Ahmed and Shehzad batted with authority against quick and slow bowlers.
Ahmed, promoted to open the innings in this series, reached his maiden half-century off 60 balls while Shehzad took 63 balls to his eighth. He hit five boundaries and a six off 72 balls. Shehzad hit five boundaries in his 82-ball knock.
Pakistan's last century opening stand in an ODI was between Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed against India at Kolkatta in January 2013.
As Pakistan tried to build on the opening stand, Misbah-ul Haq, the out-of-form skipper, was run out by a brilliant throw from cover by Maxwell.
Pakistan couldn't recover from the jolt as Asad Shafiq (29) and Fawad Alam (20 not out) laboured through their innings as Pakistan managed just 29 runs in the last 10 overs. In the end, its total of 215 was far too few.
The third and final ODI will be played in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
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