We are down to the last two matches in Australia’s tour of Pakistan, a tour that has offered everything thus far. There has so far been a fair share of boring spells of cricket accompanied by several exhilarating moments. Most recently, we saw Pakistan bounce back from a pit they had dug for themselves to complete a record chase.
With the ODI series hanging 1-1 in balance, the only remaining match of the series will be all to play for. The third and final match is to be played at the same venue of the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on 2nd April 2022. Given how the series has gone so far, a cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards.
PAK VS AUS TEAM PREVIEWS
Pakistan may have already avenged the defeat they faced in the first ODI, but the job is not yet done. They are still languishing near the bottom of the Cricket World Cup Super League points table and another loss here will push them closer to the qualification route. A win, however, will certainly make things a lot easier for them going forward.
After a poor show in the first match, Pakistan bounced back with a display of high-class cricket as they chased down a humongous total set by the Aussies batting first on a road of a surface. While their bowling looked off-color, their batting more than made up for that. They chased down a total of 349 with considerable ease and that speaks volumes about how good they were with the bat.
Despite that excellent show, Pakistan would not be too jubilant about their win, largely because the contributions came in from Babar Azam and Imam Ul Haq, the two of their usual suspects. On the bowling front as well, they were far from their best with only Shaheen Shah Afridi looking sharp enough.
All in all, aside boosted by the confidence of a big win is always difficult to deal with and it won’t be any different with Pakistan. They would want to put up an even more improved performance in this match to follow and if they can do that, getting past could prove to be an exceedingly difficult job.
The points that so overwhelmingly looked in favor of the visitors after the first match now actually seem to be backfiring. Australia was outplayed in all three departments of the game as they lost the match with utter disdain. Despite that, they had plenty of positives to take home and will, therefore, want to wrap up the series with a win.
With David Warner absent and Aaron Finch not doing as well as he generally would in these kinds of situations, the Aussies have a big problem at the top. Travis Head has played his part to perfection but the lack of support from him has often backfired for them.
All in all, Australia may have been the more consistent of the two sides on this tour across the formats, they will need to be wary of Pakistan. That said, they would also need to be at their best against a high-flying Pakistan unit. If they can do that, Pakistan will certainly have its work cut out.
PAKISTAN VS AUSTRALIA MATCH DETAILS:
Match: Pakistan vs Australia, 3rd ODI, Australia tour of Pakistan, 2022
Date and Time: April 2nd, 2022, Saturday, 03:30 PM IST
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
PAKISTAN VS AUSTRALIA PITCH REPORT
The pitch at Gaddafi Stadium is good for batting. The batters enjoy batting on this surface as the ball comes nicely onto the bat. We have seen some high-scoring games at this venue and fans can expect another one on Saturday.
PAKISTAN VS AUSTRALIA WEATHER FORECAST
The conditions will be ideal for a game of cricket. Temperatures in Lahore are expected to range between 21-38 degrees Celsius.
PAKISTAN VS AUSTRALIA PROBABLE XIS
Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr picked up four and two wickets respectively as they restricted Australia to 348. Centuries from Imam-ul-Haq (106) and Babar Azam (114) helped them chase down the total with six wickets in hand.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood
Ben McDermott scored his maiden ton (104 off 108 balls) and was well-supported by Travis Head (89) and Marnus Labuschagne (59) as they posted 348 on the board. Adam Zampa picked up two wickets but failed to create further inroads as they failed to defend the total.
Aaron Finch (c), Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Swepson
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
PROBABLE BEST BATTER OF THE MATCH: IMAM-UL-HAQ
Pakistan left-handed-opener Imam-ul-Haq has been in excellent form in the ODI series. He has stroked 209 runs in two matches with an average of 104.50. The 26-year-old will be required to give yet another good start to his team in the series decider on April 2 (Saturday).
PROBABLE BEST BOWLER OF THE MATCH: ADAM ZAMPA
The series has been dominated by the batters so far. However, Adam Zampa has played a crucial role in providing vital breakthroughs to visitors. The 30-year-old has managed to scalp six wickets in two matches with an average of 18.17.
PAKISTAN VS AUSTRALIA MATCH PREDICTION
Pakistan bounced back in the second ODI to level the series. The Aussies need to fire in unison in the third ODI to challenge the hosts who will be riding with confidence. The winner takes it all and it promises to be a cracking contest.
Australia looks like a settled unit and despite their loss in the second game, expect them to bounce back and seal the series on Saturday.
Prediction: Australia to win this encounter.