Australia vs Pakistan Preview
Second ODI, MCG, 15 January
Australia vs Pakistan. Australia is one up after winning the first ODI by 92 runs. It was shaky at one stage as Australia were 5-78 after batting first. Mohammad Amir got Warner and Smith with consecutive balls and with half the team in the shed, someone needed to stand up. That someone was Matthew Wade.
His brilliant run a ball hundred guided Australia to the competitive total of 268. The always entertaining Glenn Maxwell played his part with 60, and their 88 run partnership might have mended some bridges too. Pakistan started solidly with the bat but as we have come to expect sustainability and consistency are issues. Faulkner got the initial breakthrough and one run later Azhar Ali left the field with a hamstring injury. From there wickets kept falling and Pakistan were rolled for a disappointing 176. Pacemen Faulkner, Cummins and Starc shared 9 wickets between them.
There are already ominous signs as we head to Melbourne for Game 2. Australia is brimming with confidence and they proved they can win without the top order firing. The fast bowlers are causing problems, particularly Pat Cummins who is bowling beautifully. The extent of Ali’s injury has yet to be confirmed and that means for Pakistan to get back into the contest they need their own Matthew Wade; someone to stand up.
Australia is more than happy to travel to Melbourne having won their last 9 matches at the MCG. There last lost was nearly five years ago. Pakistan has not played an ODI at the MCG since 2005. Thankfully the Boxing Day Test will give them some familiarity, however they have probably tried removing that final day capitulation from their memories.
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