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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Babar Azam and Shadab Khan lift Pakistan to T20 series whitewash against Australia in Dubai

Pakistan leg-spinner takes three wickets after opener Babar Azam scores half-century, as tourists are beaten by 33 runs in final match

Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia batsman Chris Lynn, whose wicket was one of three the Pakistan leg-spinner took on Sunday night. AFP
Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia batsman Chris Lynn, whose wicket was one of three the Pakistan leg-spinner took on Sunday night. AFP

Babar Azam starred again as Pakistan clinched a Twenty20 series whitewash and sent Australia home from a miserable series in the UAE winless in the matches against them.

The 24-year-old batsman hit 50 to set the platform for Pakistan’s total of 150-5 from their 20 overs at the Dubai International Stadium.

Sahibzada Farhan shared in a stand worth 93 for Pakistan’s first wicket, as he made 39, while Mohammed Hafeez scored a quick-fire 32 not out.

Shadab Khan then took three wickets, and Shoaib Malik a trio of sparkling boundary catches, as the Australians slumped to 117 all out, and a 33-run defeat.

Pakistan had already clinched the series at the same ground two nights earlier, and Sunday’s match had the end-of-term feel so often associated with dead rubbers.

The crowd was paltry, the sides experimented with their personnel – and there was even a light sprinkling of rain.

The two sides are likely to be reacquainted in the UAE in the first quarter of 2019, when they play 50-overs matches as part of their preparation for the summer World Cup in England. Australia are hardly likely to be relishing the prospect of returning.

They started this tour at the end of September with a draw in a four-day practice match against Pakistan A at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Pakistan opener Babar Azam scored the seventh half-century of his Twenty20 international career. AFP
Pakistan opener Babar Azam scored the seventh half-century of his Twenty20 international career. AFP

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It was all downhill thereafter, even if they did manage to save the first Test, across Sports City at Dubai International Stadium, as well as a T20 win against UAE.

They have suffered four defeats in a row against Pakistan across a combination of the longest and shortest formats.

One constant in that run has been Babar. The opener top scored for the fourth innings in succession for Pakistan, across the three-match 20-over series and the last innings of the Test series.

The only player to show anything like the same consistency over the same period of time was Ben McDermott – in his mode of dismissal. The middle-order batsman, who was on his debut tour with Australia, was run out in each of his three innings.

He had looked in decent touch until he was run out for 21 after a misunderstanding with Glenn Maxwell. That was the middle dismissal of three for 15 which derailed Australia’s run-chase.