Australia was in cruise control on Thursday night as they wrapped up the T20 series against Pakistan with an eight-wicket win at Blundstone Arena in Hobart — their first at the venue in the format.
Pakistan did eventually claim the crucial wickets of Meg Lanning (31) and Beth Mooney (46) but it came far too late, not that the hosts put up much of a total to work with in the first place.
Australia dominated in the first innings, holding the visitors to 7-96 after using nine bowlers for the first time in a T20 international.
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MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs Pakistan, second T20, live scoreboard
Mel Jones described it as a “clinical” bowling display from Australia while Hannah Darlington pointed towards how impressive it was to see “different players perform different roles”.
“Nine bowlers used is something we don’t often see in T20 cricket, so I think they’ve definitely used this opportunity here to see some different bowlers,” added Darlington.
“The first time we’ve seen Annabel Sutherland bowl four overs as well and great figures she finished with.”
Darlington said Sutherland’s emergence as an extra bowling option in particular was a positive for Australia ahead of the upcoming T20 Women’s World Cup.
“I think a real positive that emerged is the way they used Sutherland and showed there is another bowler, whether it is in the wings or in the XI,” she said.
“To be able to bowl four overs, she bowled a death over and I think the way she went about it is a pretty special sign heading into a World Cup. Whether she’s in this XI or not, she’s going to be looking to make an impact with the ball as well.”
Javeria Khan was the first to go after she was cleaned up by Ash Gardner, who took the opening wicket for Australia.
“Ash Gardner continues her wonderful form in both formats, but particularly for Australia in the green and gold, getting the wicket of Javeria Khan,” Mel Jones said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
“Well bowled there by Ash Gardner,” added Burns.
“I think there was a lot of pressure building, a lot of dot balls and Pakistan just not being able to get anything away. Perfectly bowled.”
Muneeba may have survived the earlier scare but Pakistan’s wicketkeeper eventually departed for 33 runs shortly after the drinks break, bowled by Grace Harris.
Pakistan just was unable to get the runs on the board to put up a serious total to challenge Australia, with Nida Dar the next to go after being given lbw on a Brown delivery.
The visitors reviewed the decision but were unsuccessful, with Burns adding Pakistan was falling into an “unfortunate pattern” of losing wickets just after hitting boundaries.
It could have been another quick wicket when 18-year-old Ayesha Naseem took on Brown and looked to have picked out Alana King, only to be dropped in a fortunate break.
It did not take long though for King to redeem herself, taking the wicket of Naseem as Pakistan burned another review and she followed it up soon after with another, this time dismissing Aliya Riaz.
Australia took two more wickets before the end of the innings, with Pakistan setting a measly target of 97 runs which was certainly not enough in the end.
There was a brief moment of confusion before play got underway when automatically-timed sprinklers came on, with Anna Lanning labelling it “absolutely disgraceful”.
“WOULD NOT happen at a men’s international game,” she added on Twitter.
“That there is probably not the best of signs to start a T20 international,” Jones said in commentary.
“It’s not the warmest of days and there’ll be a mad rush from the ground staff and powers that be to switch it off.”
Australia XI: Beth Mooney (WK), Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Grace Harris, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
Pakistan XI: Muneeba Ali (WK), Javeria Khan, Bismah Maroof (c), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Ayesha Nasem, Aliya Riaz, Fatima Sana, Tuba Hassan, Aiman Anwar, Sadia Iqbal
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