Zampa and Head star as Australia crush Pakistan in ODI




Travis Head has scored a sparkling century while spinner Adam Zampa caused havoc with the ball to lead an undermanned Australia to an 88-run ODI victory over Pakistan in Lahore.

Head, playing his first ODI since 2018, cracked 101 off 72 balls opening alongside Aaron Finch to lift Australia to 7-313 in Tuesday’s series-opener.

In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 225 in 45.2 overs despite the best efforts of opener Imam Ul Haq (103 off 96 balls) and captain Babar Azam (57 off 72 balls).

Zampa finished with 4-38 from his 10 overs in a standout display as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Head also snared 2-35 off six overs in a surprise cameo with the ball, but it was with the bat that he inflicted most damage.

The 28-year-old was on just one when he was given out lbw in the second over.

Head immediately reviewed the decision, with replays showing Mohammad Wasim’s delivery had pitched outside leg stump.

The left-hander made the most of the reprieve, punishing anything wide to bring up his half-century off 32 balls.
By the time Head brought up his ton off 70 balls, he had cracked three sixes and 12 fours.

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It was the fastest ODI century by an Australian against Pakistan.

Ben McDermott added 55 off 70 balls as Australia raced to 1-171 in the 25th over, but the run rate then slowed due to the regular fall of wickets.

Only some late lusty blows from Cameron Green (40no off 30 balls) ensured Australia picked up the pace again.

“I’m stoked for Travis. He’s been out of the team for a while, and to come back and get a 100 off 70 balls – it’s a match-winning knock,” Zampa told the host broadcaster after the match.

“The boys played really well. The opening batsmen set the tone early for us, it was a really competitive total.

“Our quick bowlers put some good pressure at the start and we got the results at the end.”

Pakistan made a solid start to their chase as they moved to 1-120 after 24 overs.

Babar became the second fastest player to reach 4000 ODI runs when he struck Mitchell Swepson for four early in his innings.

The star batsman took 82 innings to reach the mark, just one short of the record held by Hashim Amla.

But it was as good as game over when Australia’s two debutants removed Pakistan’s biggest dangers.

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Swepson (2-53) trapped Azam plumb lbw, with the Pakistan skipper blowing a review in the process.

And Nathan Ellis (1-36) ended Pakistan’s resistance when he bowled Ul Haq.

It was an impressive win for Australia given the visitors entered the match with just 13 fit players to choose from after being ravaged by injuries and COVID-19.

Less than 24 hours after Josh Inglis entered isolation after contracting COVID-19, spinner Ashton Agar was also struck down with the virus.

Allrounder Mitch Marsh (hip) and Steve Smith (elbow) were injured, while Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and David Warner were all rested from the white-ball component of the tour.

© AAP





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