LAHORE: Both Azam and Haq scored impressive centuries as Pakistan levelled the three-match series 1-1 with a six-wicket victory against Australia in the second match of the three-match series.
Pakistan chased down a stiff 349-run target with six balls to spare to level the three-match series at 1-1.
In Australia’s impressive score of 348-8, Ben McDermott made his first one-day international century on a flat Gaddafi Stadium ground.
For Pakistan, it’s their first win against Australia since Melbourne, back in January 2017. During this time, they had lost 10 straight one-day internationals.
Sets up a thrilling last match on Saturday between Pakistan and Australia. Australia also won the opening match by 88 runs on Tuesday in Lahore.
With Fakhar Zaman (67), Haq smashed six boundaries and three sixes in a 118-run opening partnership to provide a solid foundation for Pakistan’s chase.
Before Marcus Stoinis bowled him, Zaman hit seven boundaries and two sixes in his 64-ball innings.
Unfazed, Haq smashed his eighth-century from 90 balls before being bowled by spinner Adam Zampa for a duck in the 35th over.
Haq and Azam had a second-wicket stand of 111, with Haq taking 92 balls.
In his 15th one-day international century, Azam hit a single against Cameron Green to put him on 73 balls. He and Mohammad Rizwan had an 80-run third-wicket partnership before Nathan Ellis caught him with 40 balls to spare.
Khushdil Shah (27 not out) and Iftikhar Ahmed (eight not out) helped Pakistan complete the task in 49 overs after Rizwan had been dismissed for 23 and Pakistan needed 32 more runs.
Prior to this match, Pakistan’s previous best ODI chase was 327, set against Bangladesh in 2014.
Australia was brought in to bat and McDermott got his fourth ODI century, while Travis Head hit an unbeaten 89 and Marnus Labuschagne hit a fifty-six after McDermott made 104 off 108 balls.
Finally, all-rounder Stoinis put the game away with a blistering 49-ball performance that included five boundaries and a six.
Despite missing Pakistan’s 88-run defeat in the first ODI because of a knee injury, fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi gave the home team a breakthrough by trapping Aaron Finch’s leg before and preventing him from scoring.
After that, Australia scored at will, with McDermott and Head’s effortless 162 off 144 balls for the second wicket.
In his 101 on Tuesday, Head hammered five sixes and six fours before miscuing a sweep from Zahid Mahmood and was caught at short fine-leg by Shaheen.
At one point in the stand, McDermott smashed spinner Khushdil for a six over the long-off boundary to bring his century off 102 balls to an end. Mohammad Wasim eventually captured him.
While Alex Carey and Cameron Green both fell for five, Sean Abbott came through with a 16-ball 28 to add to the total.
However, Pakistan’s Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil contributed 95 runs between them in 10 overs, despite Shaheen finishing with 4-63 and Wasim with 2-56, respectively