Pakistan will rue the fact that they should have won this game. The home side once again fell agonizingly short of victory despite looking well placed to win the game in the chase. Debutant Abid Ali and Mohammad Rizwan smashed centuries in a losing cause to see Australia take 4-0 lead in the one-day series.
The lack of experience in the middle-order certainly cost Pakistan the game and they suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Australia in a game played in Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
On the other hand, Australia have performed exceptionally well on this tour and looked well-prepared for the upcoming Cricket World Cup. The visitors showed their typical doggedness and pulled off a win out of nowhere to win their seventh game in a row in limited-overs cricket.
Chasing 278 runs to win, Pakistan got off to worse possible start as opener Shan Masood was clean bowled by pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile in the opening over of the innings. Australia’s pace attack looked weak in the absence of Pat Cummins. Debutant Abid Ali looked comfortable at the crease and rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. He added 74 runs with Haris Sohail to rebuild the innings for Pakistan after the loss of early wicket.
Mohammad Rizwan came to the crease and proved to be ideal foil for Abid Ali at the other end. The duo put on a 144-run partnership to put Pakistan in control of the game. Abid notched up his maiden century off 111 deliveries. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa dismissed Abid Ali to see Pakistan lose their third wicket with 218 runs on the board.
With Pakistan needing another 59 runs off the last nine overs, Mohammad Rizwan played well and lacked support from the other end. Umar Akmal, Imad Wasim and Saad Ali played reckless shots to see Pakistan lose the momentum in the back end of the innings.
However, Rizwan looked composed at the crease and notched up his second century of the one-day series. Wicket-keeper batsman has certainly done enough to book his place in the Pakistan’s squad for upcoming Cricket World Cup.
For Australia, pace bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile finished with three wickets to his name. Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon bowled well in tandem and did not allow Pakistan to score freely in the middle overs of the innings.
Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan’s second ton goes in vain as Pakistan lose 4th ODI by six runs
Earlier in the game, Pakistan won the toss and decided to have a bowl first. Australia were certainly placed in a precarious situation with the likes of Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis perishing for low scores. Aaron Finch scored 39 off 42 balls with the help of five fours and a six. He was looking good at the crease before rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain trapped leg before wicket.
Usman Khuwaja anchored the innings for Australia and scored 62 off 78 balls with the help of six fours. With his departure, Australia were in deep trouble at 140 for 5 after 28.1 overs.
Glenn Maxwell showed grit and determination to rebuild the innings for Australia. He added 134 runs with wicket-keeper Alex Carey to see Australia post 277 runs in their 50 overs. Maxwell fell two short of well-deserved century. He was certainly the aggressor in his partnership with Carey and smashed three sixes in his innings.
He scored 98 off 82 balls with the help of nine fours and three sixes. Alex Carey also notched up a crucial half-century to see Australia end up with a competitive total.
Glenn Maxwell was named man of the match for his splendid innings. The fifth and final game of the one-day series will be played in Dubai on Sunday.