Travis Head closed a surprising comeback to limited cricket with two wickets before allowing them for an overwhelming 88-point victory over Pakistan in their first day and night international in Lahore on Tuesday.
Head’s 72-ball 101 led Australia to a challenging 313-7, and the 28-year-old flips his arm 2-35 to beat Pakistan with 225 shots in 45.2 overs.
Leg spinner Adam Zampa also threw the ball 4–38 in 10 probing overs.
The win puts Australia 1-0 in a three-game series with their 10th consecutive ODI win over Pakistan since January 2017.
Opener Imamul Haq hit 103 96 and skipper Babar Azam hit 72 and 57, but with a request rate approaching 9.5, Australia didn’t question the win.
Haq hit 6 borders and 3 6s in the 8th One-Day International century, but was hit by paceman Nathan Ellis who needed 110 for 66 balls in the 39th over.
After Haq added 96 in the second wicket with Azam, the lead Fakhar Zaman took 18 and Khushdil Shah, 19, added 38 in the sixth wicket.
Having hit six boundaries from his knockout, Azam became the second fastest hitter to complete 4,000 ODI in 82 innings. This is one more than the record of Hashim Amla in South Africa.
Azam was put in front of a wicket by Mitchell Swepson in the 25th over and Head further shocked Pakistan by firing Saud Shakil (3) and Iftikhar Ahmed (3).
Zampa finished off with wickets from Mohammad Rizwan (10), Hasan Ali (2), Mohammad Wasim (radish) and Khushdil.
Earlier, Head posted his second ODI of 100 and Ben McDermott hit a career-best 55 out of 70 after Australia went to bat by Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium.
Having played his first ODI since November 2018, Head broke 12 boundaries and 3 6s and put in 110 for the opening wicket with Captain Aaron Finch who made 23.
The head hit 70 balls in triple digits using a single off spinner Iftikhar, which is Australian’s fastest ODI century for Pakistan.
He broke David Warner’s record with 78 balls in Adelaide in 2017.
With a score of 209-2 in the 33rd over, Pakistan sent off McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne (25) and Alex Carey (4) as they retreated to just 21 runs with three wickets from 39 ball spaces.
Cameron Green (40 outs), Marcus Stoinis (26 times) and Sean Abbott (14 times) have helped Australia get over 300 with 50 points in their last 5 overs.
Green hit three boundaries and six balls in a 30-ball knock.
For Pakistan, pacer Haris Rauf finished 2-44 and his debut leg spinner Zahid Mahmood finished 2-59.
Australia, which is already missing key players like Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for multiple reasons, was further depleted on Tuesday after spinner Ashton Agar tested positive for Covid-19.
The other two matches will also be played in Lahore on Thursday and Saturday.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Zahid Mahmood.
Australia: Aaron Finch (Captain), Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Swepson.