(Reuters) – Australia’s Matthew Wade struck his maiden one-day century to help secure a comprehensive 92-run victory over a disjointed Pakistan in the first one-day international in Brisbane yesterday.
Blanked in the preceding test series, Pakistan began well by reducing Australia to 78 for five in the 17th over at the Gabba.
Wade’s unbeaten run-a-ball 100, brought up off the final delivery of the innings, and Glenn Maxwell’s brisk 60 helped the hosts to recover, however, and post 268 for nine.
Azhar and Sharjeel Khan put on 38 runs in their opening stand before James Faulkner (4-32) claimed the first of his four wickets by dismissing Sharjeel.
To make matters worse for the tourists, Azhar was forced to retire hurt and, even though he returned to bat, the match had slipped out of Pakistan’s hands by then.
Babar Azam’s 33 was the highest score for Pakistan who sorely missed wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed and paceman Mohammad Irfan, both having returned home for family reasons.
Earlier, Australia packed their rejigged top half with explosive hitters but at 170-7 inside 34 overs, it looked like the world champions might not last full 50 overs.
Paceman Mohammad Amir breathed hostility after Steve Smith opted to bat, dismissing the dangerous David Warner and the scoreless Australia captain with successive deliveries.
Debutant Chris Lynn denied him the hat-trick but Australia looked in trouble until Wade joined Maxwell in the middle.
Maxwell was returning to the side after being dropped and fined for speaking out about batting below his captain Wade in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield side.
There, however, was no sign of any bad blood between the duo who raised 82 runs to steady the innings.
Maxwell smashed seven boundaries before throwing his wicket away but Wade looked unmoveable as he hit seven boundaries and two sixes in a gritty knock which earned him the man-of-the-match award.
The teams move to Melbourne for the second of five matches in the series tomorrow.a