Skipper Babar Azam reached a second straight century and Imam-ul-Haq an impressive half-century on Saturday to anchor Pakistan’s first win over Australia since 2002 with a nine-wicket win in the third and final one-day international in Lahore. It was a dominant home team performance at Gaddafi Stadium as they dismissed Australia for an underpowered 210 by their fast bowlers, who shared eight wickets, then chased the goal in 37.5 overs, losing just one wicket.
Dropped by Jason Behrendorff’s Travis Head on one, Azam took full advantage of the delay and drove Marnus Labuschagne for two to complete his 16th ODI hundred out of 110 balls.
Azam, who scored 114 in the second game, hit 12 boundaries in his 115-ball 105 not out.
Undefeated Haq followed his own back-to-back hundreds with a polished 89 for his 11th ODI half-century. He broke six boundaries and a six, finishing the series with 298 runs.
Haq and Azam tied for 190 runs for the second wicket after opener Fakhar Zaman fell for 17 against Nathan Ellis — Australia’s only success in the innings.
The elusive 2-1 win came after Pakistan lost six consecutive ODI series to Australia – and its previous three-match Test series 1-0 last month.
Australia won the first ODI by 88 runs, while Pakistan won the second by six wickets, both also at the same venue
“When you lose the first game your players need confidence and once they got that they came back strong and did a good job,” Azam said.
“Thank you to them for this series win.”
Australian skipper Aaron Finch lamented the lack of runs.
“We didn’t get enough runs,” said Finch. “If you go in the first few overs three, it’s always going to be hard to get a big total.”
Previously, fast bowlers Haris Rauf (3-39), Mohammad Wasim (3-40) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-40) kept the pressure from the start when Australia was knocked out in 41.5 overs.
Alex Carey scored the highest with a gritty 61-ball 56 and Sean Abbott hit a 40-ball 49 in an otherwise dismal batting show from the visitors.
Sent off for the third time in a row by Azam, Australia in form lost Head with the first ball of the match, to Shaheen.
Finch who was out of form fell in Rauf’s next over, pinching his leg for the second time in a row as Australia lost both openers without a point on the board.
Rauf made it 3-6 when Marnus Labuschagne shoved one to slip for Iftikhar Ahmed to make an easy catch.
Ben McDermott (36) and Marcus Stoinis (19) brought the score to 59 when last spinner Zahid Mahmood lunged at Haq, who made a good dive catch.
McDermott, who crushed a first ODI century in the second game, was stuck for 36 hours by Wasim, while Australia lost half of their side for just 67 to the 16th left.
Carey and Cameron Green (34) added invaluable 81 runs for the sixth wicket from 95 balls, but Wasim came over for his second spell to bowl Green in the 32nd.
Carey’s resistance finally ended when he buries at spinner Iftikhar after hitting six limits and a six.
Abbott, who also hit six limits and a six, saw Australia past 200 on a final wicket score of 44 before falling to Rauf.
Australia will end the tour – their first to Pakistan in 24 years – with a single T20I on Tuesday, also in Lahore.
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