ISLAMABAD: Left-arm spinner Faisal Akram bagged five for 26 and fast bowler Ahmed Khan produced an all-round performance (three for 40 and 22 not out) as Pakistan U16 defeated Australia U16 by four wickets in the third 50-over-a-side match to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Sunday.
Multan-born Faisal and Swabi-born Ahmed had also starred in Pakistan’s five-wicket in the opening match last Wednesday by sharing six wickets between them.
Faisal and Ahmed justified their captain Umer Eman’s decision to field first when they bowled with discipline and accuracy, and took wickets at regular intervals to bowl out Australia for 140 in 37.3 overs. Captain Noah McFadyen top-scored with a 65-ball 38, an innings that included five fours and one six, while Nivethan Radhakrishnan scored 33 off 40 balls with the help of three fours and one six. The two added 67 runs for the fifth wicket.
In their target chase, Pakistan were off to a shaky start when they lost two wickets for 11 runs. However, Haseebullah Khan stonewalled at one end with a 72-ball 33 that included five fours. Pakistan were then reduced to 96 for six in 29.3 overs before a 46-run seventh wicket unbroken stand between Rizwan Mehmood and Ahmed Khan took them home in the 39th over. Rizwan remained not out on 36 off 42 balls, with his innings including seven fours. Ahmed, who had scored an unbeaten half-century in the second game, completed a satisfying day by following up his three wickets with a run-a-ball 22 not out.
The fourth match will be played on Wednesday. Scores in brief: Australia U-16s 140 in 37.3 overs (Noah McFadyen 38, Nivethan Radhakrishnan 33, Connor Cook 13, Faisal Akram 5-26, Ahmed Khan 3-32) Pakistan U-16s 142-6, 38.5 overs (Rizwan Mehmood 36*,Haseebullah Khan 33, Ahmed Khan 22*, Joshua Smith 2-22, Connor Cook 2-31)