Australia cruised to a comfortable 86-run victory over Pakistan in the fourth ODI in Sydney on Sunday. The wins saw the hosts take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
David Warner headlined with his sixth century in his last 13 innings. His 130-run effort saw Australia amass 356/6. Glenn Maxwell (78 off 44 balls) and Traves Head (51 off 36 balls) were the other major contributors for Australia.
In reply Pakistan were never up for the challenge and folded for 267.
Australia’s batsmen were assisted by a dismal fielding effort by Pakistan, which saw as many as five dropped catches and a number of mis-fields and overthrows.
Steve Smith was the first Australian batsman to be given a reprieve. Batting on 10, Smith was dropped by Sharjeel Khan, who floored an easy chance after opting to go with one hand when he clearly could’ve gotten his other hand to the ball to complete the catch.
Hasan Ali followed with a bigger blunder, dropping Warner, who skied one towards mid on. Ali went slowly to his right, but fell over as he tried to catch it.
Sharjeel did not learn from his mistake and dropped a regulation outfield catch off soon after to let off Travis Head on 23. Head went on to produce a fine 51 off just 36 deliveries.
Ali also gifted Maxwell a life on just eight. This blunder proved to be disastrous for Pakistan as Maxwell went on to smash a 44-ball 78 to boost Australia towards a mammoth total.
Not only the catching, Pakistan failed with their fielding as well. Their woes on the field were summed up in the last over as Shoaib Malik let the easiest of stops off a Maxwell drive go straight through his legs at mid-on for four.
It was one of the worst fielding displays in recent history. Pakistan showed little energy in the field from the first over. Coach Mickey Arthur’s frustrated expression said it all.