Australia claim narrow win despite Abid’s debut hundred

Australia claim narrow win despite Abid’s debut hundred
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Australia pulled off a sensational last-over, six-run win despite a debut hundred by Pakistan's Abid Ali and second career century by Mohammad Rizwan in the fourth one-day international in Dubai on Friday.

Needing 278 to win, Pakistan were brought close to theirtarget by Ali's 112 and Rizwan's 104 but in the end the twin hundreds were invain as they failed to score a required 17 off Marcus Stoinis's last over.

The win gives Australia a 4-0 lead with the last match alsoin Dubai on Sunday. Glenn Maxwell missed a second career hundred by just tworuns, Usman Khawaja scored 62 and Alex Carey 55 as Australia posted 277-7 intheir 50 overs.

Ali and Rizwan had put Pakistan on course for victory with a144-run third-wicket stand but once Ali departed off leg-spinner Adam Zampa inthe 42nd over, the innings wilted under the pressure of 60 runs in the last 8.5overs.

Umar Akmal and debutant Saad Ali fell for seven each topaceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 3-53 while Stoinis had Rizwan andUsman Shinwari (six) in the final over to seal the win.

Ali, only drafted into the side two hours before the startafter Imam-ul-Haq went down with fever, grabbed his opportunity, completing hishundred off 111 balls.

He was lucky to survive a leg-before appeal on 98 off Zampaas the review went on umpire's call. He took two singles to reach thethree-figures mark.

Ali is the 15th batsman to score a hundred on one-dayinternational debut. Salim Elahi (102 not out v Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in1995) and Imam (100 v Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi 2017) were the other two Pakistanibatsmen to score debut ODI tons.

Ali hit nine boundaries in his 111-ball knock while Rizwanhad a six and nine boundaries off 102 balls.

"Credit to our boys, though Abid and Rizwan gettinghundreds were great knocks," said Australian skipper Aaron Finch whoseteam has now won seven games in a row after their 3-2 win in India earlier thismonth.

"When (Usman) Shinwari hit a six (in the last over),the heart started going again. But we kept hanging in. And that's somethingwe've prided ourselves on. Our quicks at the end were very disciplined."Imad Wasim praised Ali and Rizwan, but blamed the middle-order batting fordefeat.

"The two hundreds were positives for us, but we shouldhave won this game," said Wasim. "We lacked power hitters and afinisher." Earlier, it was Maxwell who lifted Australia — sent into bat— from 140-5 to an imposing total. Maxwell hit three sixes and nine boundariesin his 98 off 82 balls.

A new look Pakistan team, with Wasim as skipper after ShoaibMalik was ruled out with a rib injury, caught Australia napping at 101-4 whenMaxwell walked in. Dropped on 10 by keeper Rizwan off Yasir Shah, Maxwellrepaired the innings with a 134-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Careywho finished with 67-ball 55 for his maiden fifty with three boundaries. AFP

Maxwell, bowled by fast bowler Shinwari off a no-ball when on 76, was within a sight of his second ODI hundred when he was run out while attempting a double run. Carey supported Maxwell as the pair beat the previous sixth wicket stand in Australia-Pakistan ODIs of 90 between Dirk Wellham and Rod Marsh at Sydney in 1981.

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