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Live cricket scores, blog, updates, result, video highlights, Aaron Finch, Babar Azam

Welcome to live coverage of the third ODI – and series decider – between Australia and Pakistan from Lahore.

Australia’s bowlers will have to do what few before them have been able to achieve: take wickets, and quickly.

After posting more than 300 twice in the opening two matches, Babar Azam once again sent the tourists in to bat in the winner-takes-all third-match decider in Lahore.

But disaster struck immediately for Australia, and they never quite recovered as the tourists were bowled out for 210.

Without first-choice quicks Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, Australia’s second string attack face an almighty task.

At least Sean Abbott, the NSW all-rounder, gave his side something to bowl after a creative cameo, which included 21 from the 39th over off Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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An 81-run fifth wicket partnership between Alex Carey and Cameron Green threatened to get Australia back into the contest, but the latter’s departure with the score on 148 was a blow.

Earlier, Travis Head, who scored a century in the first match and backed it up with a quick-fire half-century in the second match on Thursday, was bowled first ball from an Afridi full toss.

Australia's Alex Carey plays a sweep during his half-century against Pakistan in the third ODI in Lahore. Photo: AFP
Australia’s Alex Carey plays a sweep during his half-century against Pakistan in the third ODI in Lahore. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

Head didn’t need to turn around to survey the damage. He tucked his bat up him armpits and opened his eyes, wondering what on earth had just occurred.

An over later, Aaron Finch’s miserable series continued as the Australian captain was removed for his second straight duck.

Finch missed a straight one from Haris Rauf and was given out lbw, leaving Australia 2-0.

He has now failed to score a half-century in his past 11 internationals, a run which stretches back to last T20 World Cup, and has not registered a century in more than a year.

The question has long been asked: Are Finch’s days numbered?

That answer appears more obvious than ever and only the captaincy is saving the 35-year-old’s position in the team.

Marnus Labuschagne joined his teammates in the dressing sheds soon after pushing at a Rauf good-length delivery and was caught in the slips, as Australia slumped to 3-6.

Australia’s Aaron finch walks back to the pavilion after being dismissed by Pakistan’s Haris Rauf for a duck. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

Ben McDermott, who scored a century in the second ODI, and Marcus Stoinis settled things down and moved the score onto 31-3 off 10 overs.

But both men failed to build on their starts, as Stoinis (19) was well-caught by Imam-ul-Haq after a leading edge off Zahid Mahmood.

McDermott’s departure for 36 was a major blow for Australia’s hopes of keeping afloat, with the in-form right-hander having the ability to up the tempo.

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But when Mohammad Wasim Jr managed to extract some more bounce out of the Lahore wicket, he left McDermott shocked and Australia deflated.

Carey (56) and Green (34) helped steady the ship for Australia, but when the latter was bowled Pakistan was right on top.

Carey had the opportunity to kick-on, but just as he looked set to kick on he found Fakhar Zaman at the long-on boundary after attempting to hit spinner Iftikhar Ahmed out of the attack.

Abbott’s excellent innings saw Australia get over 200, but he fell a single run short of a half-century.

Australia made one change for the match, including left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff for Mitch Swespon.

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Key for Australia will be removing opener Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, who each scores centuries during the epic run-chase.

Azam, whose 114 came off just 83, is in incredible form after starring in the Test series.

“I enjoyed every minute of watching – it was a pity it was against us,” Labuschagne said ahead of the match.

“I sat back and I took some things on board for my own game to learn from that innings.

“I think if we can find a way to get him out early, put a bit more pressure on the middle-to-lower order, we’re a chance but he batted us out of the game today and fair play to him.

“We have to think maybe a little bit more outside the box, I think he’s (ul-Haq) played beautifully.

“He hasn’t really put a foot wrong and he’s the type of player that doesn’t give you many opportunities to get them out.”

AUSTRALIA IN PAKISTAN

First Test: Match drawn

March 12-16: Match drawn

March 21-25: Australia win by 115 runs

Pakistan XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Asif Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood

Australia XI: Travis Head, Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa

March 29: Australia win by 88 runs

March 31: Pakistan win by six wickets

April 2: Third ODI, Lahore

April 5: Only T20I, Lahore

Follow all the live action in our blog below!



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