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'Result a Reward For Hard Work' - Proud Sarfraz Basks in Series Whitewash

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 29, 2018, 10:25 AM IST
'Result a Reward For Hard Work' - Proud Sarfraz Basks in Series Whitewash

The Pakistani team after winning the T20I series against Australia. Image: Twitter/@TheRealPCB

An ecstatic Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said his side's 3-0 whitewash of Australia in the Twenty20 International series was "reward for all the hard work" put in over the last few months.

It was yet another dominating performance by the hosts as they brushed aside Australia by 33 runs in the third and final T20I in Dubai on Sunday. This was Pakistan's tenth successive series win in the shortest format of the game. The No.1 T20I side in the world, they have never lost a series in the 20-over format under Sarfraz's leadership and the smile on his face at the post-match presentation ceremony clearly reflected the mood in the camp.

"I would say that all the boys have worked hard in all facets, the result is just the reward," said Sarfraz. "Credit goes to the entire team. We outclassed them in every department. In this format, you cannot relax. We try to keep the momentum going. Whoever has got an opportunity has done well. The way we bowled and took our catches was superb tonight."

The win was setup by Babar Azam, who's rich vein of form continued as he recorded his second fifty of the series to help the hosts reach a competitive 150/5 on a two-paced Dubai International Stadium surface. Azam, who not too long ago was the No.1 ranked batsman in T20Is finished the series with scores of 68*, 45 & 50. The astute manner in which the opener went about his innings despite seeing wickets fall around him was heartening to see. His efforts helped him take away the Player of the Match award.

"When you are in form, score as many as you can. I try to keep my focus and perform in every game. I don't get satisfied if I've performed in one match. My role is that of an anchor, who has to bat through. I try to do that," he said after the match.

Australia had their chances in pursuit of 151, particularly when Chris Lynn (15) and Ben McDermott (21) looked settled in a 36-run stand for the third wicket. But leg-spinner Shadab Khan quashed any hopes of an Australian redemption as he first snapped up Lynn off his first delivery of the day and then picked up the big wickets of last game's half-centurion Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh in quick time.

The 20-year-old returned impressive figures of 3/19 in his four overs as Australia were bowled out for 117 in 19.1 overs earning him the Player of the Match award.

"Didn't try to do something extra, that was the key. There was lot more grip in the previous game, today the ball was skidding through. I bowl according to situations," he said.

Australia, on the other hand, were left ruing their chances. The bowlers did well in all three games to restrict Pakistan under the 160-mark but the batsmen let them down.

"I think we had a chance in all three games. Throughout the series, we had lack of partnerships. Chasing under 150, you back your batsmen to get the side over the line," said the Australian captain Aaron Finch.

"They are a very good fielding side. Every time you give them soft wickets, it is devastating."

Finch praised his bowlers who did well to have Pakistan in trouble at all times but said the batting needed to come good especially with the series against South Africa and India already in the pipeline.

"Our bowlers did well. Restricting them under 150-160 in all the matches was a really good effort," he said. "Batting against spin is something we have to work on. It's going to be a tough series (against South Africa and India). We have to improve quickly.

First Published: October 29, 2018, 10:20 AM IST

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