Babar Azam leads Pakistan to 263-7 in ODI vs Australia
PERTH: Babar Azam made a poised 84 to lift Pakistan to 263-7 batting first in Thursday's third one-day international against Australia at the WACA Ground.
When he passed 47, Babar reached 1,000 runs in ODIs from just 21 innings.
Opener Sharjeel Khan made a sprightly half century from 46 balls to give Pakistan an assertive beginning after being sent in to bat.
Babar had support from Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal who both score 39, but Pakistan squandered its solid start by scoring a modest 50 runs from the last 10 overs while losing three wickets.
Babar was dismissed when he pulled a ball from Josh Hazlewood toward the debuting Peter Handscomb on the deep midwicket boundary. Handscomb made good ground and took the ball in both hands close to the ground.
Initial replays suggested the ball might have touched the grass but the television umpire was able to determine that Handscomb had been able to get his fingers under the ball.
Babar's innings contained only 22 runs from boundaries — four fours and one six — but he scored consistently, using his wrists to work balls into gaps especially on the on-side.
Sharjeel used blunter methodology, hitting a six and three fours from the last four balls of the fourth over bowled by Billy Stanlake in only his second one-day international.
He then hit three successive fours off Travis Head but was out next ball as he chopped a Head delivery onto his stumps.
Babar came in when Pakistan lost captain Mohammad Hafeez (4) in the fifth over and put on 49 for the second wicket with Sharjeel. He quickly lost Asad Shafiq (5) but founded a new partnership with Shoaib which added 73 for the fourth wicket and he put on a further 60 with Akmal.
Hazlewood bowled an outstanding last spell to prevent Pakistan getting what seemed likely to be a score close to 300. He dismissed Hafeez, Babar and Akmal, ending with 3-32 from his 10 overs.