Maxwell, Cummins Glitter, Such As Australia Romp To Series Win > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Maxwell, Cummins sparkle as Australia romp to series win

Pat Cummins led the way with 3-24

ICC's broadcaster, who also covers cricket in India, ran a popular television commercial in the build-up to the 2015 World Cup with a catchphrase "We won't give it back" - playing on a popular sentiment in India that had grown fond of being World Champions. Australia have embraced a similar sentiment as they build up to their title defence in England in a couple of months, with a second serious statement of intent inside a little over two weeks.

Fast on the heels of a series win in India, Aaron Finch's side completed a series win over Pakistan with an 80-run win in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (March 27). The captain himself followed up on his two centuries in the first two games with a dogged 90, but the stars of the evening were Glen Maxwell (71 off 55) and Pat Cummins (3 for 23) who paved the way for another convincing victory. On a pitch that played drastically differently in either innings because of the mid-match rain, the visitors scored 266/6 before bowling an abject Pakistan out for 180.

For large parts of Australia's innings in Abu Dhabi, the visitors were stuck in second gear and headed to a total in the range of 200. Finch had won his first toss on tour and decided his team needed a different challenge in preparation for the World Cup having chased in each of the last two games. He also swapped his fast bowlers around bringing back Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff for Nathan Coutler-Nile and the injured Jhye Richardson.

Pakistan made two changes of their own bringing in Usman Khan and Junaid Khan, with the former making a mark almost immediately as he cleaned up the in-form Usman Khawaja for a duck in the first over. Junaid, unwilling to be left behind, dealt the second blow as he prized out Shaun Marsh, who'd hit three fours in a brisk start.

At 20 for 2, Finch joined hands with Peter Handscomb to lead Australia's recovery, which they did but at a sedate piece as turning over strike proved difficult to achieve on this slow pitch. Handscomb, however, provided the dose of momentum the partnership sorely needed. He hit six boundaries in his innings and was clever with his footwork against spin before Haris Sohail bowled him for 47 off 43. Marcus Stoinis batted ahead of Maxwell but couldn't make a mark as he fell to Imad Wasim. Finch, who had crawled his way to 90, then fell to the third of the Pakistan spinners, Yasir Shah.

At 188 for 5 in the 42nd over, Australia's innings seemed to have hit a wall. But Maxwell played a crucial hand in the visitors plundering 90 off the final 10. He hit eight fours and a six in his 55-ball knock and received excellent support from Alex Carey, who finished with 25 off 21.

A short shower freshened the pitch up ahead of the second innings and under light, and Cummins found swing. Australia's player of 2018, proved near unplayable for Pakistan top-order. Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Mohammad Rizwan were out to catches behind the wicket as the hosts slipped to 16/3 by the seventh over. Imam-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik led a mini-recovery of sorts when they added 59 for the fourth wicket in nearly 14 overs.

Imam fell on 46 LBW to Maxwell, a decision he attempted to reverse with DRS but ended up costing his side another review. Malik fell soon after, leaving Pakistan at the mercy of an Umar Akmal miracle. To his credit, Akmal played a solid hand (36 off 46) with Imad Wasim (43 off 53) for company but in the face of an ever-increasing asking rate, risk shots were always around the corner. Adam Zampa made the most of those, finishing with 4 for 43 as he polished off Pakistan's tail to continue Australia's fairytale start to 2019 in ODI cricket after the horrors of 2018.

Brief scores: Australia 266/6 in 50 overs (Aaron Finch 90, Glenn Maxwell 71; Imad Wasim 1-34, Usman Shinwari 1-37) beat Pakistan 186 in 44.4 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 46; Pat Cummins 3-24, Adam Zampa 4-43) by 80 runs.

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