DUBAI – Pakistan cricket team is determined to win the remaining two matches of the series against Australia as the two sides meet in the fourth ODI in Dubai on Friday.
Australia have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series after identical eight-wicket wins in the two Sharjah matches, before they won the third in Abu Dhabi by 80 runs on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s stand-in skipper Shoaib Malik said it was important to back the young players who have tried to press their claims for the available places in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be played in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.
“We are trying to give all the players chances so the selection committee and team management have a better picture in front of them,” said Malik. “Its international cricket, so every game is important. We have two more opportunities. If we win two games, we have something in our pocket.”
Malik said batsmen did not keep track in their chase for a 267-run target in Abu Dhabi.
“When you chase, you need to keep wickets and go deep in the game, that’s where you create chances, but we couldn’t do that,” said Malik of Pakistan who were dismissed for 186 in 44.4 overs.
Malik praised the Australia bowlers.
“The Australia bowlers were seaming and swinging the ball around. If you give couple of chances to a good batsman, then expect to chase something big. Getting opportunities and grabbing them is the key of the game,” said Malik, who scored 32 runs.
Imam-ul-Haq top-scored with 46 while Imad Wasim (43) and Umar Akmal (36) were the other batsmen who got good starts but did not go on to help Pakistan chase down the target.
Pakistan are likely to try out uncapped opener-cum-keeper Abid Ali and one-drop batsman Saad Ali.
Australia will be aiming to give right-handed batsman Ashton Turner a chance after his brilliant hitting at Mohali during the series against India.
Skipper Aaron Finch stressed over the need to continue building the side.
“We’ve been building up and doing the basics well. Any time you can beat India and Pakistan in their home conditions, is good,” said Finch. “We’re playing spin a lot better than we have in the past and that is an improvement.
“Handscomb played a good innings before he was knocked over by a good ball. Partnerships don’t allow the opposition to get on top. That’s been an improvement. Maxwell and Handscomb both played great knocks. As a captain, it’s very hard to set fields to guys like that.”
The last match will also be in Dubai on Sunday.
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Yasir Shah
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa
Match officials: Kumar Dharmasena and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Michael Gough (third umpire), Ahsan Raza (fourth umpire); Jeff Crowe (match referee)