Australia frustrated as rain ruins T20 series opener against Pakistan


Australia's bowlers are enjoying their best Twenty20 run in nearly a decade with their full-strength attack strangling opposition sides out of matches.

Australia, on the other hand, will be looking for another clean sweep following their thumping 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in a home T20 series that ended on Friday. Isuru Udana who took five wickets in two matches against Pakistan played in just one match and the tour selectors will be armed with a load of excuses to save their skins.

With the hosts scoring 41 runs in 3.1 overs, they had made an attacking start.

After being sent in to bat first, the tourists were 107-5 in 15 overs when play was halted for over an hour due to showers, meaning Australia were set a revised target of 119.

It was a decent recovery by the visitors after a awful start when Fakhar Zaman was out first ball, hitting a swinging Mitchell Starc delivery straight to Steve Smith at backward point.

"If you're cutting overs off the game and you still have a 20 minute break it doesn't make much sense to me", said Finch.

But Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steadied the ship and began building a solid partnership, pushing the scoreboard along with clever running between the wicket and quality shots.

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When they resumed at 88 for three in the 13th over after a rain break, Asif Ali fell to Richardson for 11 and Imad Wasim to Starc for a duck, leaving Azam to bring up his 11th T20 half-century.

Finch whacked the tallest player in the history of cricket - Irfan - for a boundary first ball, but it was in the third over when he really wound up, hammering three sixes and two fours in a brutal display of big hitting.

Sri Lanka under the captaincy of Dasun Shanaka triumphed 3-0 against the number one ranked side Pakistan last month and then crashed to zeroes 0-3 under Lasith Malinga.

"It's frustrating", said the Australian skipper.

"They've got a really well-rounded side", he added of Pakistan.

Led by top-ranked T20 batsman and captain Babar Azam - who finished unbeaten on 59 from 38 balls atop the order - Pakistan recovered from their slow start.

The series moves to Canberra on Tuesday and a final game in Perth.