Babar, Wasim propel Pakistan to biggest T20 win over Australia

Pakistan cricketer Hasan Ali, center, celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australian cricketer Adam Zampa during the first Twenty20 cricket match between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 October 2018

Babar, Wasim propel Pakistan to biggest T20 win over Australia

  • Babar Azam hit five fours and a six in his 55-ball innings as Pakistan made 155-8
  • Imad Wasim bowled both Australian openers, Aaron Finch (0) and D’Arcy Short (4), in the first over of their innings

ABU DHABI: Opener Babar Azam struck an unbeaten 68 while spinner Imad Wasim capped a return to international cricket with three wickets as Pakistan crushed Australia by 66 runs in Wednesday’s opening T20 match in Abu Dhabi.
Azam hit five fours and a six in his 55-ball innings as Pakistan made 155-8 before Wasim (3-20) ripped apart Australia’s top order as they slumped to 89 all out — their joint-third lowest T20 score — at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The win gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and also their biggest T20 victory over Australia, improving upon the 45-run win they achieved in Harare in July.
Only twice have Australia scored fewer runs in a T20 international, making just 79 against England at Southampton in 2005 and 86 in a defeat by India at Dhaka four years ago.
Left-arm spinner Wasim, playing his first match for Pakistan since October last year, bowled both Australian openers, Aaron Finch (nought) and D’Arcy Short (four), in the first over of their innings.
Medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, who finished with 2-10, then dismissed Glenn Maxwell (two) and Chris Lynn (14) to further derail the Australians.
Ben McDermott was run out without scoring before Wasim came back into the attack to dismiss Alex Carey for one, leaving Australia in tatters at 22-6.
Only a fighting knock of 34 from Nathan Coulter-Nile, the last man out, ensured Australia didn’t succumb to their lowest T20 total.
Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi finished with 2-23 while Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan took a wicket each.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised an all-round performance.
“Our bowling attack is good, so we try to put some runs on the board and back ourselves to defend,” said Sarfraz.
“Babar Azam and Hafeez batted beautifully and when we bowl we always try to take wickets when we have the ball in our hands.”
Finch said the defeat was embarrasing.
“It’s pretty embarrassing, to be fair,” said Finch. “I think we were a little bit one-dimensional while batting, but that’s a learning experience and I would say Pakistan have got a lot of variety in their bowling.”
Earlier, Pakistan were lifted by Azam and Mohammad Hafeez (39) as they added 73 for the second wicket in quick time.
But once Hafeez fell in the 14th over, Pakistan lost six wickets for just 28 runs with Sarfraz, Ashraf and Wasim falling without scoring while Shadab made just one.
It was left to Azam to keep one end intact during his sixth T20 half-century while Hasan used the long handle effectively, hitting two boundaries and a six in a handy 17 off eight balls to help add 41 in the last five overs.
Billy Stanlake (3-21) and Andre Tye (3-24) were the successful Australia bowlers.
The second and third T20 internationals will be played in Dubai on Friday and Sunday.


England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

Updated 05 April 2020

England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

  • The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28
  • ECB’s centrally contracted women players to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June

LONDON: England’s centrally contracted male cricketers will donate £500,000 ($613,000) to the Board and charities while their women’s team counterparts have volunteered a three-month pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the players’ association (PCA) said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28 and speculation has been mounting over how their leading players would respond to the situation.

“Following a meeting today of all of the England men’s centrally contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial donation of £0.5 million to the ECB and to selected good causes ...” the Professional Cricketers’ Association said in a statement.

“This contribution is the equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20 percent reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months.

“The players will continue to discuss with the ECB the challenging situation faced by the game and society as a whole and will consider how best to support the ECB and both the cricketing and wider community going forward.”

The ECB’s centrally contracted women players have volunteered to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June in line with their coaches and support staff.

England women’s captain Heather Knight said: “All the players felt like it was the right response in the current climate to take a pay cut in line with what our support staff are taking.

“We know how the current situation is affecting the game and we want to help as much as we can.

“We will be discussing with the ECB further ways we can help the game in the coming weeks,” added Knight, who has signed up with the National Health Service (NHS) as a volunteer.

The ECB has announced a 61 million pounds aid package to help the local game withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is currently auctioning the shirt he wore in England’s 2019 World Cup final victory to raise funds for efforts to fight the coronavirus.