Pakistan were once again let down by their batsmen as Australia conjured a convincing 93-run win in the first day-night international in Sharjah on Tuesday.
The chronic batting failure was once again the main reason of Pakistan's defeat as they were folded on 162 in 36.3 overs after set a challenging 256-run target on a Sharjah stadium pitch which took more turn in the second session.
Australian owed their fighting total to Steven Smith whose maiden hundred was steady as well as innings repairing after lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan gave Pakistan an ideal start by dismissing the dangerous opener Aaron Finch off the very first ball of the match.
Australia had won the toss and decided to bat, very wisely reading the pitch and the conditions.
Smith, who had never scored a fifty in his previous 38 one-day matches, batted with maturity and added 86 runs for the second wicket with David Warner (43) to steady the ship and then built the tempo for the final overs with stands of 37 with skipper George Bailey (18) and Glenn Maxwell (21), negotiating the spin-cum pace attack of Pakistan.
Smith hit six boundaries and two sixes before holing out to leg-spinner Shahid Afridi who finished as the best Pakistani bowler with 3-46. Paceman Wahab Riaz finished with 2-62.
In the end overs Brad Haddin (23 not out) and Mitchell Johnson (21) gave the impetus to the innings with a flurry of boundaries.
Pakistan did show signs of a fightback after losing opener Ahmed Shahzad early in their innings, caught off Johnson who generated good pace. It was left to make-shift opener Sarfraz Ahmed (34) and Asad Shafiq to initiate a recovery but the introduction of off-spinner Nathan Lyon changed the game on its head in two deliveries.
Sarfraz was caught behind off a miscued sweep before skipper Misbah-ul Haq was well caught at leg-slip by Warner.
The loss of Misbah, playing his 150th one-day game, was crucial as Pakistan were looking to its skipper to take the fight to the Australians.
It became 63-4 when Johnson had one bounce on Shafiq and the ensuing edge was well taken by Haddin begind the stumps. Fawad Alam struggled to five before falling to Glenn Maxwell while Shahid Afridi fell to debutant Sean Abbott.
Umar Akmal showed some grit during his innings of 46, hitting six boundaries but he was undone by the pace of Kane Richardson.
All in all it was a clinical performance by Australia while Pakistan were left to wondering what balance they should play in the next game in Dubai on Friday and how to overcome batting failures.
Misbah said it was all about batting.
"I think we did not bat well," said Misbah. "If we have to square the series on Friday we have to think positively. It's all about confidence and at the moment we are not batting with confidence but I am sure just one good show of batting can chage the things around."
Pakistan will hope it will come sooner thanlater.
Post-match media conference (English)
Post-match media conference (Urdu)