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Australia beat Pakistan by seven wickets in 3rd ODI

 Agencies |  2017-01-19 19:00:49.0  |  Perth

Australia beat Pakistan by seven wickets in 3rd ODI

Steve Smith's unbeaten eighth One-Day International (ODI) ton helped Australia to beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the third match at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground here on Thursday.

With this victory, the hosts now have an important 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Chasing 263, Australia started the match on a cautious note, scoring 44 runs in eight overs. But just
when things seemed good for the hosts, they lost two quick wickets in back to back overs.

After Australia were delicately poised at 46 for two, Smith (108 not out) forged an 183-run third-wicket partnership with debutant Peter Handscomb (82) as the hosts chased down 264 in the 45th over.

For Pakistan, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali chipped in with one wicket each.

Earlier, Pakistan set Australia a target of 264 to win but squandered the opportunity to post a big score.

With the five-match series level at 1-1 Pakistan looked to be building to a massive score in excess of 300 after being asked to bat by Australia captain Steven Smith.

On a flat wicket ideal for batting they had raced along at better than six runs an over, but the steady loss of wickets eventually slowed them and Pakistan finished with a disappointing 263 for seven from their 50 overs.

Paceman Josh Hazlewood was the man who reined in the visitors, picking up three for 32 from his 10 overs.

He claimed the vital wickets of Babar Azam, who top-scored with 84, Umar Akmal (39) and opener Mohammad Hafeez (4).

Babar played beautifully and appeared set to add another century to his blossoming career, before he was brilliantly caught by ODI debutant Peter Handscomb.

The Pakistani number three equalled the record held by four other players for reaching 1,000 runs in his 21st innings before falling to Hazlewood.

Babar attempted a pull shot and Handscomb took a great diving catch with the third umpire confirming the Australian got his fingers under the ball.

Babar rode his luck being dropped low down by James Faulkner on 31 and then Pat Cummins grassed a tough chance when he was 74.

Umar should have been stumped on one, but wicketkeeper Matthew Wade botched the dismissal, which would have given part-timer spinner Travis Head (2-65) a third scalp.

The Pakistani batsman looked set to punish the Australians with a late flurry, but a sharply rising delivery from Hazlewood found Umar's outside edge and Wade this time made no mistake.



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