Dubai, April 1: World champions Australia completed a 5-0 whitewash over Pakistan with a clinical 20-run win in the fifth and final one-day international despite a brilliant hundred from Haris Sohail in Dubai on Sunday.
Sohail scored a 129-ball 130 for his second one-day international hundred but failed to take Pakistan past Australia’s imposing 327-7, finishing at 307-7 in 50 overs.
Australia’s total was built around Usman Khawaja’s 98 and a fiery 33-ball 70 by Glenn Maxwell coupled with Shaun Marsh’s 61 and skipper Aaron Finch’s 53 in a dominating batting show.
The series win gives Australia an eighth straight one-day victory following their 3-2 series win in India after losing the first two matches.
It gives them a sixth successive series win over Pakistan since losing in 2002 (in Australia) and fourth whitewash over their opponents — 1998 (3-0 in Pakistan), 2010 (5-0 in Australia) and in 2014 (3-0 in United Arab Emirates).
Australia’s resurgence — after winning just three of their 18 matches between January 2018 to the first two matches in India earlier this month — could not have been more perfectly timed as they defend their World Cup title in England in two months.
Sohail, who hit 11 boundaries and three sixes, had set up the chase during a second wicket stand of 108 with Shan Masood (50 off 54 balls) and another 102 with Umar Akmal (44-ball 43) before Australia hit back with two wickets in the space of one run.
Umar holed out to off-spinner Nathan Lyon and a run later Sohail’s innings was ended by Kane Richardson.
Stand-in skipper Imad Wasim, deputising for injured Shoaib Malik (captain for the series), hit 50 not out with six boundaries and a six but it proved in vain.
Pakistan had lost Abid Ali — who made a debut hundred in the last game — for nought in the first over.
Skipper Finch, declared man of the series for his two hundreds and two fifties, showed happiness at return of his and team’s form.
“The way everyone contributed throughout the series was fantastic,” said Finch. (AFP)