SYDNEY: Australia set a challenging 354 target for Pakistan in the 4th One-Day International at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australian opener David Warner and Usman Khwaja set the stage for a big total with their opening stand of 92. Warner scored a quick 130 runs in 119 balls.
Hassan Ali’s two quick strikes though stemmed the flow of runs by Australia with the departure of David Warner, but GL Maxwell accelerated the pace of runs with his brilliant 78 in 44 balls.
Captain Steve Smith scored 49. TM Head also contributed with his quick 51 in 36 balls.
Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. The hosts announced two changes to their playing 11, while Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali returned from a hamstring injury.
Mitchell Starc and leg-spinner Adam Zampa have returned to the side, with all-rounder James Faulkner and bowler Billy Stanlake rested.
Asad Shafiq made way for the skipper, after scoring five and 13 in his two hits so far this series.
Australia lead the five-match series 2-1, meaning Pakistan must avoid defeat today to stay alive in the series. Starc was rested for the third ODI in Perth following a heavy workload this summer. The left-arm fast bowler played all six Tests against South Africa and Pakistan.
Zampa’s return means Australia will field a specialist slow-bowler for the first time in this series, with part-time off-spinner Travis Head carrying the spin workload in the first three ODIs.