Babar, Iftikhar guide Pakistan to 150-6 in 2nd T20 against Australia

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CANBERRA: Skipper Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed guided Pakistan to 150-6 in 20 overs allotted quota against Australia in the second T20I at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

According to details, Babar Azam won the toss as the Pakistan captain and had no hesitation in opting to bat first.

As expected Azam and Fakhar Zaman opened the batting for Pakistan, whereas Mitchell Starc and Kane Richardson shared the new ball for Australia.

After a quiet opening over, Azam looked to have continued from where he had left on Sunday, smashing back-to-back boundaries off of Richardson’s bowling in the second over.

While Azam looked exquisite, Zaman looked wretched again, slicing one straight to mid-off in the fourth over bowled by Pat Cummins. This time he scored a mere two runs and ate up seven balls.

Asif Ali, another frequent failure, walked in and did not last long. He attempted a slog only to find the long one fielder. When he departed in the 11th over, Pakistan were 70-4 and reeling.

Iftikhar Ahmed, who had impressed in the home series against Sri Lanka, walked in and impressed again. When boundaries had dried up, he found a few in the 15th over to put some torque in the innings.

The 36-run partnership was looking good when Azam was run out via a direct hit. He departed but again contributed a 38-ball 50.

But Iftikhar continued to hit whenever he found an opportunity — his innings aided by a dropped catch. He completed his maiden T20I fifty off just 29 balls in the penultimate over of the innings.

Pakistan Playing XI: Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan.

Australia Playing XI: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Steve Smith, Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

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