Matthew Wade produced a terrific knock under pressure for Australia against Pakistan to see the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the series at the Gabba in Brisbane. The problems for the visitors were further compounded as they lost their premier batsman and captain Azhar Ali due to a hamstring tear in the initial overs of the innings.
Steven Smith was clever in terms of his tactics after Billy Stanlake went off the field after bowling three overs as the rest of bowlers were rotated to a good effect. James Faulkner was the man with the golden arm as he nipped out two wickets to see Pakistan slide to 47 for 2 after 10 overs. It was a similar sequence of events that followed as everyone in the Pakistan batting lineup got starts and then gave away their wickets at regular intervals to see Australia command for the entire second half of the game.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan made rampant strides with the ball as Mohammad Amir bowled a great opening spell to take two big wickets of David Warner and Steven Smith in quick succession. The new opener alongside Warner was Travis Head who played well according to the conditions but could not score big as he was dismissed by left-arm spinner Imad Wasim to see the side lose their fourth wicket. Mitchell Marsh also perished for a low score to see Australia in deep trouble at 78 for 5 after 16 overs. The debutant Chris Lynn made a quick start but was dismissed by medium pacer Hasan Ali. Glenn Maxwell came to the crease with Matthew Wade as they tried to take the side out of trouble.
Maxwell was the aggressor in his partnership with Wade as they added 82 runs to put Australia back on track in their pursuit to post a modest score on the board. He scored 60 runs off 56 balls and looked all class when he rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely. Matthew Wade on the other hand played himself in, biding his time at the crease. Maxwell then departed as he was dismissed by Hasan Ali who claimed his second wicket of the innings.
Australia were placed at 160 for 6 after 31 overs as Matthew Wade batted with determination along with the tail to see the side end up with over 108 runs in the last 19 overs alone. He went on to notch his half century off 65 balls as Pat Cummins at the other end played well to add 42 more runs to the total. The left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper has been largely ignored by the Australia set up and he produced a great innings under pressure to score his maiden century in one-day cricket to take the side to a decent total of 268 runs from 50 overs.
Pakistan now need to find a way to end their Hoodoo in Australia while the hosts are keen to push on their winning streak as the two sides meet in Melbourne on Sunday.