HARARE: Fakhar Zaman smashed a quick fifty to put Pakistan on course for a respectable total in a dead-rubber ‘rehearsal’ contest against Australia in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday.
Australia won the toss and opted to bowl against Pakistan, ahead of facing the same opponent in Sunday’s final of the T20 tri-series.
When opener Haris Sohail got out for a golden duck, another batting collapsed looked on the cards but Fakhar’s 73 off 42 balls steadied Pakistan. He was helped along by a sure-footed 30 off 25 balls by Hussain Talat.
Pakistan knocked Zimbabwe out of the tri-series in a closely-fought encounter on Wednesday, beating the hosts by seven wickets and setting up a final date with Australia on Sunday, July 8.
Australia have won both their games in the series and look confident under the leadership of Aaron Finch, who smashed his own record for the highest individual T20I score by hitting 172 against Zimbabwe.
Pakistan outclassed hosts Zimbabwe in the series opener, but succumbed to a defeat by Australia in their second match before regaining form and beating Zimbabwe again yesterday.
Opener Fakhar Zaman top-scored for Pakistan with 47 before captain Sarfraz Ahmed overcame a spirited Zimbabwean fightback and saw his side home with an unbeaten 38.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), D Arcy Short, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake.-Web Desk