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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 April 2019

Aaron Finch falls just short of milestone as Australia clinch ODI series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi

Captain 10 runs shy of becoming first Australian batsman to score three successive ODI centuries, but his 90 set up a series-clinching victory for the tourists

Aaron Finch in action for Australia against Pakistan in the third ODI in Abu Dhabi. AFP
Aaron Finch in action for Australia against Pakistan in the third ODI in Abu Dhabi. AFP

Aaron Finch was 10 runs short of becoming the first Australian to score a hundred in three successive one-day internationals, but did enough to inspire his side to a series clinching win over Pakistan.

The Australia captain scored 90 before holing out to Haris Sohail on the long-on off the bowling of Yasir Shah at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

His effort laid the platform for Australia to make 266-6 from their 50 overs. Pakistan fell 80 runs short in the chase, which gave the Australians a third win in three matches since returning to the UAE.

The tourists cut a markedly different image to that which left here at the end of 2018, after shambolic defeats in the Test and Twenty20 series.

Few players have had more of a turnaround in that time than the captain. Finch’s struggles were a symbol of the wider malaise the last time these two sides met.

Now, he cannot put a foot wrong. His innings in the capital followed match-winning contributions of 116 and 153 not out in the wins at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the opening two matches of the five-game series.

In truth, scoring was difficult on a testing wicket and with the substantial boundaries at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, even for the in-form Finch.

He faced 136 balls in making 90, and the away side were grateful for a breezy, 55-ball innings of 71 from Glenn Maxwell to give their innings some late impetus.

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Pakistan’s reply was over before it had really even begun, after a fiery spell with the new ball by Pat Cummins.

The Australia fast-bowler shot out Shan Masood, Haris Sohail and Mohammed Rizwan to leave the hosts on 16 for three after seven overs.

Despite some resistance from Imam-ul-Haq, who top-scored with 46, and Shoaib Malik (32) and Umar Akmal (36), Pakistan were soundly beaten, with over five overs still remaining to them when they were bowled out for 186.

Updated: March 28, 2019 08:44 AM

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