October 29, 3:00am, Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Match Overview

Australia will be hoping to avoid an ignominious whitewash by claiming a consolation win over Pakistan in the third T20 in Dubai on Monday morning.

Pakistan secured their series victory with a tense 11-run win at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. After winning the toss and batting first the hosts again got off a strong start, reaching 1/99 in the 14th over courtesy of a 70-run stand between Babar Azam (45 off 44 balls) and Mohammad Hafeez (40 off 34) balls, however once again they fell away to only scrape to 6/147 from their 20 overs.

In a carbon copy of the series opener, Pakistan’s bowlers immediately took control with Imad Wasim’s spell of 1/8 off four overs reducing the Aussies to 3/31, before a late fightback saw them get close before youngster Shaheen Afridi (2/35 off four overs) closed the match out expertly.

Australia’s initial comeback in the field was sparked by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who claimed 3/18 off three overs, while part-timer Darcy Short also chipped in with a handy 1/16 off three overs.

However, another top-order collapse ultimately cost the visitors the game and they only got so close due to a superb 52 off 37 balls from Glenn Maxwell and some more late hitting from Coulter-Nile (27 off 17 balls).

Although it was undoubtedly an improved effort from Australia, the market refuses to acknowledge Pakistan’s dominance and therefore I’ll be backing them to sweep the series.

Key Stats

Pakistan has now won their last ten T20 series’.

Pakistan has won their last four T20s against Australia.

Australia hasn’t won in any format at the Dubai International Stadium since 2014.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Back Pakistan at 1.75 or better for 2 units

 

October 27, 3:00am, Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Match Overview

Following another calamitous batting collapse, Australia will be desperate to claim a much-needed win against Pakistan in the second T20 in Dubai on Saturday morning.

Pakistan got off to flying start in the series opener, racing to 1/105 in the 14th over before their own collapse of 7/28 saw them crash to 8/133, before some late hitting from opener Babar Azam (who carried his bat for 68 not out off 55 balls) and tail ender Hasan Ali (17 not out off 8 balls) elevated them to a competitive 8/155.

Their bowlers then took charge of the match as they routed the Aussies for just 89, highlighted by 3/20 from returning left-arm spinner Imad Wasim who started the destruction with two wickets in the opening over. After such a comprehensive victory, changes to the starting XI are unlikely although Shoaib Malik could slot back in for Hussain Talat.

For the Aussies there were very few highlights, although the efforts of pacemen Billy Stanlake (3/21 off four overs) and Andrew Tye (3/24 off four overs) in curbing Pakistan’s assault with the bat was impressive after a shaky start from fellow quick Nathan Coulter-Nile (0/42 off four overs).

Coulter-Nile did redeem himself with the bat to some extent with his 34 off 29 balls alongside Ashton Agar’s 23-ball 19 saving the visitors from further embarrassment as they narrowly surpassed their lowest ever T20 score of 70 made back in 2005.

On current form I couldn’t go near Australia, however I remain wary of the hosts’ penchant for trading short and getting beaten which is why I’ll be employing a back-to-lay strategy.

Key Stats

Pakistan have now won their last four T20s.

Australia’s T20 victory against the United Arab Emirates is their only win across all formats in their last six matches in the UAE.

Pakistan are unbeaten in their last five matches against Australia in all formats.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Back-to-lay Pakistan at 1.75 or better for 2 units (trade out at 1.35 or better).

October 25, 3:00am, Sheikh Zayed Stadium

Match Overview

After a disastrous conclusion to the test series, Australia will be looking to bounce back in the first of a three-match T20 series against Pakistan, starting on Thursday morning.

Pakistan currently sits atop the ICC T20 rankings, after winning an incredible 11 of their last 12 matches. Their most recent victory came in a tri-series tournament against Australia and Zimbabwe in July, where the player of the series Fakhar Zaman made his mark with three half-centuries, including a blistering 91 off just 46 balls in the final against the Aussies.

Their bowling attack is also well served with leg-spinner Shadab Khan partnered with the returning Imam Wasim, while 18-year-old sensation Shaheen Afridi will be hoping to continue the promising start to his international career.

Australia’s results in the shortest format of the game have also been relatively impressive of late, winning nine of their last 12, largely off the back of regular contributions from openers Aaron Finch and Darcy Short who this year have combined for 910 runs at an average of 60.67 and strike-rate of 159.65.

Unlike their opponents, the visitors’ bowling attack tends to lean heavily on their quicker bowlers with Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye combining for 49% of Australia’s wickets in 2018. I’m not convinced that’s the right balance in these conditions where Pakistan are historically very hard to beat so I’ll be siding with the hosts in this one.

Key Stats

*Pakistan have won 11 of their past 12 T20s.

*Australia have won nine of their past 12 T20s.

*Pakistan have also won 11 of their past 12 T20s at home.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Pakistan at 1.95 or better for 2 units.


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