Glenn Maxwell's 98 helped Australia hold their nerve and beat Pakistan by six runs to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. (Image credit: Twitter)
Pakistan were on course to break their ODI rut against Australia in the fourth ODI with Mohammad Rizwan and Abid Ali scoring centuries. However, a sensational collapse of five wickets for 45 runs and the mounting run-rate got Australia back in the contest and they won the Dubai ODI by six runs in Dubai to take a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. This was Australia’s seventh consecutive ODI win and they head into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as firm favourites. Australia’s total owed much to the batting of Glenn Maxwell but Pakistan will be ruing the fact that they once again buckled under pressure.
Chasing 278, Pakistan lost Shan Masood in the first over but Haris Sohail, along with Abid Ali, strung a crucial partnership. Abid Ali got going with four boundaries in two overs. Abid continued to find the boundary while Sohail played the sheet anchor role to perfection. The partnership of 74 was broken when Sohail chipped Nathan Lyon straight to cover.
Rizwan started brilliantly by hammering Lyon for two boundaries but he really took apart Finch’s part-tie left-arm orthodox with two fours and a six. Both batsmen kept the scoreboard ticking and Australia were under pressure. Abid notched up the 100-run stand by cracking Kane Richardson to the deep point fence and in the 39th over bowled by Lyon, Abid became the third Pakistan player to score a century on ODI debut. Zampa, though, got the wicket of Abid when the batsman top-edged the slog sweep to fall for 112 but with Rizwan at the crease and with Pakistan needing 60 off 54 balls, it only seemed a minor blip.
However, Australia dried the boundaries up after the dismissal of Abid and when Umar Akmal was cleaned up by Nathan Coulter-Nile for 7, Pakistan still needed 49 off 41. The Australian bowlers had found the opening they wanted and when Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson gave away just eight runs in two overs, Pakistan needed 16 off the last over. Stoinis held his nerve and despite Rizwan’s 100, they still lost the game.
Earlier, Australia’s total was set up by a brilliant knock of 98 from Glenn Maxwell and a 134-run stand with Alex Carey for the sixth wicket. Australia chose to bat and once again Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch gave them a solid start. The Australian skipper found the boundary at regular intervals and looked good for yet another fifty but on 39, he was trapped LBW by Mohammad Hasnain with an incoming delivery. Australia stuttered in the middle overs with Imad Wasim getting the wickets of Shaun Marsh (5) and Peter Handscomb (7). When Yasir Shah got the wicket of Marcus Stoinis for 2, Pakistan were dominant.
Khawaja notched up yet another fifty by punching Wasim down the ground for a boundary while Maxwell got going with a straight six off Yasir down the ground. When Yasir trapped Khawaja LBW for 62, Pakistan had once again regained the initiative but Maxwell found good support in Carey. When the death overs approached, Maxwell reached his fifty and he raised the tempo by launching the spinners for a couple of sixes. Carey and Maxwell found the boundaries at will and the Australia wicketkeeper hit his fifty as Australia smashed 86 runs in the final 10 overs to give them a good total, a total which proved to be match-winning but only just.