Sloppy batting was once again the reason of Pakistan's six wicket defeat at the hands of a professional Australian team at Dubai cricket stadiumon Sunday.
Restricted to 96-9 -- their fifth lowest total in all T20 games -- Pakistan did hit back through their spinners but the total wasn't enough to make a fight of it and it was a swashbuckling 39-ball 53 not out by opener David Warner that sealed the win for the Australians, their seventh win in ten Twenty20 this year.
Both teams were young and inexperienced as they were missing some key players. Pakistan was hard hit by the absence of key spinners Saeed Ajmal (suspended because of illegal bowling action) and Mohammad hafeez (injured) while Australia did not have two-in-one allrounder Shane Watson and Michell Marsh.
In fact Australia were more inexperienced as they had four debutants (Cameron Boyce, Sean Abbott, Kane Richardson and Phil Hughes) as compared to Pakistan who gave Twenty20 debut to allrounder Saad Nasim.
But it was Pakistan which faltered and Australia cashed on to some sloppy batting.
Pakistan, batted by choice after Shahid Afridi won the toss, succumbed to some fine spin bowling by Glenn Maxwell (3-13) and leg-spinner Boyce. It was a case of one after the other with Awais Zia starting the slide in the third over of the innings.
Maxwell also had Umar Amin stumped and Sohaib Maqsood boweld -- both without scoring, leaving Pakistan tottering at 23-3.
Ahmed Shahzad was shaping well with two boundaries in his ten but he casually edged one from Boyce to the slip in debutant's first international over.
Umar Akmal too didn't last long and skied a catch off another debutant Kane Richardson while Shahid Afridi was tarpped leg-before by Abbott. It was left to Saad Nasim to sho some grit in his first international match, helping Pakistan avoid the humiliation of shot out for their lowest Twenty20 total -- 74 against the same opponents at the same venue last year.
Wahab Riaz (16) and Raza Hasan (13 not out) ensured Pakistan reach 96-9 in the allotted overs.
Although not a par score on a spin-friendly pitch, Pakistan did put up some fight. Hasan hit back by dismissing the dangerous Aaron FInch (five) and Steve Smith (three) while Shahid Afridi had Maxwell for a rapid 17. When Riaz had Phil Hughest for 6 and the total at 56-4, Pakistan had sensed an unlikely win.
But the dashing David Warner in company of James Faulkner saw off the target with six overs and as many wickets intact. Warner's 53 came off just 39 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis blamed batting for the loss.
"I think we had a n inexperienced batting line-up which didn't come good," said Waqar in his post match comments. "Unfortunately the shot selection of the batsmen was not good but we lost after fighting and showed some grit in the end."
Waqar said he was not worried over the loss. "Look, it was a one-off Twenty20 so you can't judge the performance with just one game, but yes I am a bit worried about how we gonna bat in the 50-over game."
The first of three one-day games begin in Sharjah on Tuesday.