In the third and final One-Day International against Pakistan on Sunday (October 12), Pakistan needed two runs off the last over bowled by Glenn Maxwell and Australia needed two wickets. In the end, it was the visitors who secured a dramatic one-run victory and a 3-0 scoreline in the series.
Pakistan – led by Shahid Afridi after Misbah-ul-Haq withdrew himself after a poor run of scores – put in a tidy performance, restricting Australia who batted by choice to 231 for 9, but was let down by its batsmen, with only Asad Shafiq managing a fifty. That Australia got to a formidable total was courtesy contrasting half-centuries from Steve Smith (77 of 105 balls) and Warner (56 off 63 balls).
Pakistan was tentative at the start of the innings with only one boundary in the first seven overs, but Ahmed Shehzad broke the shackles with two consecutive boundaries off James Faulkner.
However, Shehzad misread the first ball from Xavier Doherty and was bowled for 26. Sarfraz Ahmed, who was also looking in good touch, was later run out for 32.
That wicket seemed to add a spring in the step of Australia's fielders as Fawad Alam found out soon enough. The batsman shuffled to his left to sweep Doherty, but Smith, at slip, scurried to his right to take the catch near the position of leg slip.
Meanwhile, Shafiq and Sohaib Maqsood began to rebuild the innings, with a 74-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Maqsood cut loose in the 32nd over, picking up 14 runs off Doherty, before he was caught by David Warner for 34, running in from deep midwicket. Shafiq then reached his half-century off 71 balls, but was trapped in front by Faulkner.
Pakistan was 160 for 5 when Afridi strode to the crease, but he fell for 6, trying to go for a pull. The tailenders, however, proved stubborn. Zulfiqar Babar (14 not out) could have been run out for nought had any of Australia's fielders thought to appeal when Faulkner had run him out on the second attempt. They didn’t, but fortunately for them, it was a case of ‘all’s well that ends well’.
Earlier, Australia got off to a solid start through Aaron Finch and Warner, before Finch (18) miscued a drive, with 48 on the board. Smith added 54 for the second wicket with Warner as Australia attempted to steady the innings.
Warner hit Babar for six to reach his fifty off 41 balls before he gave a return catch to Afridi. Then George Bailey, the captain, fell for nought while Maxwell was dismissed by Afridi for 20.
Sohail Tanvir then picked up the wickets of Smith, Phil Hughes (5) and Faulkner (33) to end with figures of 3 for 40, but the total proved to be just enough for Australia to defend in the end.
To see the scorecard and review the Pakistan v Australia match in full, please click here.