Skipper Babar Azam hit his second consecutive half-century and Iftikhar Ahmed clubbed a quickfire 62 as Pakistan made 150 for six in the second Twenty20 against Australia in Canberra on Tuesday.
Once again, the world's top T20 batsman anchored the innings, smacking six fours in his 38-ball knock as teammates fell around him until he found support from Ahmed, who notched a maiden, and entertaining, half-century.
Both sides are looking to go 1-0 up in the three-game series after the opening match in Sydney on Sunday was abandoned due to rain with Australia on course for victory.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Azam went on the attack immediately, making the most of a fast outfield to stroke a series of top-notch boundaries off Kane Richardson and Mitchell Starc.
Fellow opener Fakhar Zaman, desperately in need of a decent score after being out for a golden duck in the first game on Sunday, was little more than a spectator.
And when he faced Pat Cummins, he was out for two, driving to David Warner at mid-off to continue his string of poor scores.
Haris Sohail came to the crease but only lasted nine balls, out for six, top-edging to Kane Richardson who took the catch off his own bowling.
It took the wind out of Pakistan's sails and the runs dried up before Azam and Mohammad Rizwan began to push the scoreboard along.
But Azam was again forced to watch as another partner fell, with Rizwan stumped off Ashton Agar's bowling for 14.
It left Pakistan at 62 for three at the halfway mark and Agar quickly struck again as Asif Ali slogged a sweep shot straight to Cummins.
Azam finally found some support from Ahmed before the captain was run out for 50 -- his 12th in the short format -- after some fantastic fielding by Warner, whose throw from deep midwicket smashed into the stumps.
Ahmed ensured it was a competitive score, smashing 22 off the penultimate over from Richardson.
After Canberra, the series wraps up in Perth on Friday before the sides face each other in two Tests.
Source: PTI News
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