Aaron Finch's half-century and Ben McDermott's composure proved to be decisive as Australia defeated Pakistan by three wickets in Tuesday's thrilling one-off T20I.

Pakistan won the ODI series thanks in large part to the brilliance of captain Babar Azam and his superb 66 propelled the hosts to a competitive 162-8 in Lahore.

Babar's composure at the crease was much-needed for Pakistan, who lost Mohammad Rizwan (23) and Fakhar Zaman (0) in successive balls to T20I debutant Cameron Green (2-16).

Adam Zampa finally drew a stray shot out of Pakistan's skipper, who picked out Nathan Ellis to leave his side on 118-4.

Having already dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed, Ellis – the pick of Australia's bowlers with 4-28 – then did the damage through Pakistan's middle order, getting rid of the dangerous Khushdil Shah (24), Asif Ali (3) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (0), though Usman Qadir's flurry of 18 not out boosted the hosts.

Travis Head quickly set about getting the tourists' chase on its way, scoring a rapid 26 that included four boundaries before he was sent packing by Haris Rauf.

Josh Inglis (24) kept up the pace until Qadir struck, but Australia seemed well set before Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis and Green were dismissed in the space of 20 balls.

Yet captain Finch anchored the chase as he returned to form following back-to-back ducks in the ODI series, with his steady innings steering Australia into needing 15 runs from three overs.

A costly start to the 18th over from Haris saw McDermott plunder successive boundaries, though the pressure was back on Australia when Finch found Asif in the deep.

Afridi (2-21) rounded off an excellent spell by bowling Sean Abbott for a duck, yet another poor Haris ball handed McDermott the chance to clip away the winning boundary.

Captains come up big

Babar gave yet another exhibition of how he has risen to the top of the batting rankings in another sensational knock - his 66 coming at a strike rate of 143.47.

Yet it was World Cup winner Finch who took the trophy, as he showed plenty of patience to stay at the crease for 18 overs, showing why interim head coach Andrew McDonald backed him to stay on as skipper.

Historic tour comes to a close

It has been a brilliant match-up between Pakistan and Australia over the last month or so and the tourists will finally return home.

Australia have now won each of their past four T20Is against Pakistan, the first time they have gone on such a run, though this was the first meeting in the format between the teams in Pakistan.

Royal Challengers Bangalore roared back to hand Rajasthan Royals their first defeat of the 2022 Indian Premier League by four wickets.

RCB's hopes of victory looked to have escaped them when they allowed Jos Buttler to put on another batting masterclass after his second IPL hundred – and the only century of this year's tournament so far – in the Royals' previous match against Mumbai Indians.

Buttler recovered from a slow start to score an unbeaten 70, ramping up the run rate over a final two overs in which he hit four sixes and Shimron Hetmyer (42 not out) added another.

Their unbroken partnership of 83 off 42 concluded the Royals' innings on 169-3, which looked a solid total at the midway stage of RCB's reply.

Faf du Plessis had been limited to 29, while Virat Kohli was run out, but RCB had enough batting talent remaining further down the order to reach 173-6 with five balls to spare.

A crucial 33-ball sixth-wicket stand of 67 between Shahbaz Ahmed (45) and Dinesh Karthik turned the tide, with the wicketkeeper-batsman sticking around to make 44 not out and complete the job alongside Harshal Patel (nine not out).

Buttler brilliance in vain

Explaining his performance against the Indians, when he bludgeoned 26 runs in the fourth over alone, Buttler said ahead of this match: "You are always looking for that one over that you can really target and go for."

Indeed, his had been just the second IPL century with a dot ball percentage of more than 40; failing to score off 41 per cent of the deliveries he faced, but doing the damage with big boundaries.

Although Buttler did not get off to the same strong start on Tuesday, it was a similar story again as over half of his runs came off six balls. Unsurprisingly, he regained the outright season lead in the IPL with 205 runs.

RCB retain hold over Royals

This was a fifth consecutive RCB win against the Royals; representing Rajasthan's longest active losing streak against any opposition.

It is a particularly painful defeat for the Royals, too, having looked on course to continue a winning start to the season, until bowing under RCB's own barrage of boundaries.

West Indies hard-hitting all-rounder Odean Smith is living the dream in the Indian Premier League.

“Growing up I always watched the IPL. It has been a dream to be here. I have done a lot of work for that and I am grateful to play in this tournament,” said the Punjab Kings man in an interview with Cricketnext.

The 25-year-old Smith, who has played five ODIs and 10 T20Is for the West Indies, was man of the match in his first game after smashing 25 not out off just eight balls to help the Kings chase down 205 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had a poor outing with the ball conceding 52 off his four overs.

“It’s a good feeling. I was happy that I contributed to that first win for my team. Personally, I have a lot of stuff to work on in terms of my bowling as I consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. The sole purpose of everyone in the team was to win the first game and we did that,” he said.

Smith has taken two wickets and scored 37 runs in three matches so far for the Kings who have two wins and one loss.

 

West Indies T20I and ODI captain Kieron Pollard was selected by the London Spirit with the first pick in the draft for the 2022 edition of The Hundred on Tuesday.

Pollard will join the likes of Mark Wood and Glenn Maxwell for the Spirit in the 100-ball per team tournament.

His Trinidadian countrymen Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo will turn out for the Northern Superchargers and Oval Invincibles, respectively, while Andre Russell was the first selection for the Manchester Originals. All four West Indians were taken at the highest price range of 125,000 pounds sterling.

The second edition of the Hundred will run from August 3-September 3. The inaugural edition in 2021 was won by the Southern Braves.

 

A solid performance with bat and ball saw the Lucknow Super Giants seal a 12-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at DY Patil Stadium.

Super Giants captain KL Rahul (68) and Deepak Hooda (51) were the standout performers in the Lucknow innings as they set their opponents 170 to win.

Sunrisers had looked in a strong position to chase down that total at 143-4 with just under three overs left, only for a late collapse to see them fall well short.

The Super Giants were three down within the first five overs, with two wickets for Washington Sundar (2-28) in his first seven balls, claiming Quinton de Kock and Evin Lewis for a single run each, then, immediately after hitting a big six, Manish Pandey (11) could only find Bhuvneshwar Kumar from Romario Shepherd's delivery to leave them 27-3.

Hooda came to the crease and rescued things with Rahul, putting on a partnership of 87 before the former fell to Shepherd, with Thangarasu Natarajan (2-26) taking the late wickets of Rahul and Krunal Pandya (6) to seemingly limit Lucknow.

However, Abhishek Sharma (13) and Kane Williamson (16) failed to eat much into the target, and despite solid efforts from Rahul Tripathi (44) and Nicholas Pooran (34), Hyderabad ultimately fell short, with Jason Holder (3-34) taking three wickets for just three runs in the final over.

Skipper leads the way with the bat

Rahul and Hooda were the only batsmen for the victors to score 20 or more runs, but that was all that was needed after their efforts, with the captain hitting six fours and one six.

Hooda struck three fours and three sixes, and grabbed his second half-century of the IPL season so far.

Bowling attack comes to the fore

This was a classic case of the batsmen setting a defendable total, but then the bowlers having to earn their place by seizing control back late on.

Avesh Khan impressed with 4-24 from his four overs, including taking both Sunrisers openers, while Krunal (2-27) and Holder performed crucially at the death.

Bangladesh are to lodge a complaint with the ICC over the standard of umpiring and alleged "deplorable" sledging from South Africa during a 222-run thrashing in the first Test at Kingsmead.

The Proteas wasted no time in wrapping up a crushing victory on the final day in Durban, Keshav Maharaj taking 7-32 and Simon Harmer 3-21 to bowl the sorry tourists out for only 53.

Bangladesh were dismissed in only 19 overs as the South Africa spinners tore through their batting line-up.

The Tigers were not happy with the standard of umpiring from South African duo Adrian Holdstock and Marais Erasmus.

Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told ESPNcricinfo: "We have already lodged one complaint about the umpiring after the ODI series.

"The match referee had initially misbehaved with our manager Nafees Iqbal but then softened when we gave him a written complaint. We will lodge another official complaint about this Test match."

He added: "There hasn't been impartial umpiring in this Test match. It started on the first day. We were held up for half an hour at the start of the game because of the sightscreens. We were deprived of the initial advantage.

"To make up this half an hour, they extended the lunch session, instead of starting early, which we usually see. It is definitely at the umpire's discretion, but generally we see them making up for lost time by starting early. These are subtle technical things."

Yunus also felt Dean Elgar's side crossed the line dishing out the verbals.

He said: "They surrounded [Mahmudul Hasan] Joy when he went out to bat. They were saying something. He couldn't say anything back since he is a junior player.

"It was deplorable. Instead of controlling the situation, the umpires warned our players whenever we made complaints against the sledging. Sledging definitely took place from both sides, but when they started it and took it overboard, we complained to the umpires. It wasn't acceptable. We properly condemn it. We have to accept the umpires' decisions, but the ICC must reinstate neutral umpires."

Tigers captain Mominul Haque called for the return of neutral umpires.

He said: "Sledging is quite normal, but the umpires didn't seem to notice it. The umpiring in the match is not in our control, but I think the ICC should think about bringing back neutral umpires."

Four-time Caribbean Premier League Champions Trinbago Knight Riders have signed Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell and middle-order batsman Nicholas Pooran for the 2022 season.

Andrew McDonald has backed out-of-form captain Aaron Finch to lead Australia in the T20 World Cup this year ahead of a one-off match against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Opener Finch was dismissed without scoring in the second and third ODIs as the tourists suffered a 2-1 loss to a Babar Azam-inspired Pakistan side last week.

The skipper has not scored an international half-century since last July, but Australia interim head coach McDonald says he remains the man to lead his country when they attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title on home soil.

"From my end, there's no conversation around the [prospect] that he won't be there," said McDonald.

"His form can ebb and flow – like most players' can – and his ability to work through these patches has been significant in his career.

"We had the same conversation about David Warner leading into the T20 World Cup last [year], so all these conversations are going to happen.

"Do we think he's still good enough to play this level? One hundred per cent yes. That's as simple as it gets for us and we're building a team around him as captain.

"It's a pretty significant pillar to be discussing about not being at the T20 World Cup. From our end, we think he can still play at this level, 100 per cent."

Finch will be one of only three players who are set to face Pakistan in Lahore that were part of the side that won the World Cup in Dubai last November.

Australia will be looking for a fourth consecutive T20 win over Pakistan, but they will have their work cut out as the hosts have come out on top in 10 of their past 11 home matches in the shortest format.

Babar a class apart

Captain Babar made back-to-back centuries to give Pakistan a first ODI series win over Australia for 20 years.

The irrepressible skipper has made a staggering three hundreds, as many half-centuries and 36 in his past five knocks for his country - demonstrating his class in all formats.

As the top-ranked player in the world in both white-ball formats, Australia must find a way to remove Babar before he is set.

McDermott and Head vying for opening spot

Either Ben McDermott or Travis Head look set to open with Finch in the only T20 match before Australia head home.

There was good news for the tourists when Ashton Agar and Josh Inglis returned negative COVID-19 tests, while Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green are in contention to make their T20I debuts.

Andrew McDonald refused to commit to wanting the Australia coaching role on a permanent basis after the tour of Pakistan ends as he needs more detail on the job and greater clarity.

Justin Langer guided Australia to a 4-0 Ashes thumping of England after lifting the T20 World Cup in December before rejecting a short-term contract extension with Cricket Australia (CA) in February.

CA's handling of the situation with Langer was widely scrutinised, with McDonald taking up an interim role to lead Australia to Pakistan for the first time since 1998.

Australia have fared well under his stewardship, claiming a 1-0 victory in the three-Test series and going 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series before falling to a 2-1 defeat, including a nine-wicket thrashing in the decider.

McDonald revealed he has held talks with the board about making his tenure permanent but is unwilling to commit to a definitive decision amid uncertainty surrounding the specifics of the role.

"Obviously the congested Test series didn't allow that but with a few more gaps in this one-day series I've had the opportunity to speak with Cricket Australia," McDonald said on Monday.

"Whether that becomes a follow-up conversation we'll wait and see. It will be pretty much like the other people who have no doubt spoken to Cricket Australia.

"Within the chats, there was no great detail or clarity on what the role would look like."

Pressed on whether he would like to take the job on a full-time basis, McDonald – whose influence has been praised by Test captain Pat Cummins – remained unsure.

"It depends on what it looks like, how Cricket Australia see the job unfolding and looking like and we'll get more detail on that going forward," he added.

"I don't really want to openly share what I think it should look like because that might put people in difficult situations throughout the process."

Australia conclude their tour of Pakistan with a one-off T20 on Tuesday and McDonald could have Josh Inglis and Ashton Agar to call upon after the pair recovered from COVID-19.

"[Agar and Inglis] returned their first negative test," he continued.

"They were in our last T20 set-up against Sri Lanka so depending on how they front for training, we will communicate with them on the possibility of playing."

Keshav Maharaj claimed a remarkable seven-wicket haul as South Africa required just 13 overs on the fifth morning of the first Test to register an emphatic 220-run victory over Bangladesh at Kingsmead.

The Proteas were bowled out for 204 in their second innings in Durban on Sunday, setting the tourists 274 to win before Maharaj and Simon Harmer reduced Bangladesh to 11-3 at stumps.

The visitors' sizeable task significantly increased when they lost Mushfiqur Rahim in the first over the day, pinned in front by Maharaj, who claimed six of the seven wickets to fall on Monday to finish with 7-32.

Dean Elgar's hosts only used spinners Harmer (3-21) and Maharaj in the final innings, which lasted just 19 overs in total, as they claimed a 1-0 lead in the two-match series by bowling the Tigers out for 53.

The rampant Maharaj picked up where he left off on day four as he struck with his fifth delivery to remove Mushfiqur for a duck, while Litton Das (two) chipped a simple catch to Harmer in the left-armer's next over.

Yasir Ali (five), who was bowled by Maharaj, and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (zero) followed in quick succession, with the latter snaffled at slip by Keegan Petersen off Harmer.

Najmul Hossain Shanto offered brief resistance but when he was stumped for 26 by Kyle Verreynne off Harmer, Bangladesh were languishing at 50-8 and Maharaj soon wrapped up victory.

Khaled Ahmed needlessly slogged the finger spinner to Lizaad Williams before Taskin Ahmed (14), who survived an earlier lbw review, edged Maharaj to Wiaan Mulder at slip to seal victory in just 55 minutes.

Spin tames Tigers

Maharaj went wicketless in 37 overs in the first innings. However, he ramped up the pressure in the second with his seven dismissals coming in 60 balls, the second-fastest since 2002 after Stuart Broad's against Australia in 2015, as he collected his eighth Test five-for and best figures at home.

Indeed, it was also the first time South Africa have bowled out an opposition using only two bowlers after neither of the seamers, Duanne Olivier and Williams, were called on in the second innings.

Kingsmead hoodoo ends in dominant fashion

South Africa cruised to just their second win in their last 10 matches at Kingsmead as Bangladesh were bowled out for their second-lowest total in Tests and lowest against the Proteas.

The visitors will have to figure out how to bounce back against Maharaj and Harmer, who took seven wickets on his comeback to international cricket, in the final Test in Port Elizabeth that starts on Thursday.

Ross Taylor was given a guard of honour by Netherlands players but there was no dream final New Zealand innings for the legendary batter at Seddon Park on Monday.

There was a standing ovation for Taylor as he walked out to the crease in Hamilton and the tourists lined up to show their appreciation for his brilliant career during the third and final ODI of the series.

The 38-year-old was caught and bowled by Logan van Beek for only 14 before departing to another standing ovation.

Taylor later led New Zealand out onto the field before Netherlands started their pursuit of a huge target of 334 for a consolation victory.

The former Black Caps captain's children joined him on the pitch for the pre-match national anthems prior to his international swansong.

Taylor retires as New Zealand's highest ODI run-scorer with 8,593 at an average of 47.73, while he has also scored the most hundreds (21) and half-centuries (51) for his country in the 50-over format.

The Blacks Caps great racked up 7,683 runs in 112 Tests and 1,909 in 102 T20 Internationals.

Liam Livingstone hit his first half-century in the Indian Premier League and was also key with the ball to propel Punjab Kings to a 54-run victory over Chennai Super Kings.

Punjab won their first game of the new IPL season but lost to Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, though they made light work of CSK on Sunday.

Livingstone was the difference-maker, as he struck 60 from 32 deliveries before succumbing to Ravindra Jadeja (1-34).

The England international needed to be at his best, however, given Punjab lost Mayank Agarwal and Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the first two overs.

Shikhar Dhawan (33) played his part, putting on a 95-run partnership with Livingstone until Dwayne Bravo (1-32) struck and Jitesh Sharma entertained on his debut, hitting three sixes in a rapidly accumulated 26 as Punjab reached 180-8 from their innings.

Kagiso Rabada's only wicket came early as CSK started their chase, the paceman dismissing Ruturaj Gaikwad, with Vaibhav Arora (2-21) bowling Moeen Ali for a duck.

Shivam Dube's fantastic 57 from 30 balls gave CSK hope, yet Livingstone drew an edge and then caught-and-bowled Bravo with the next delivery. A hat-trick did not materialise, but he fittingly dismissed international team-mate Chris Jordan to seal the win.

Livingstone lights up the stage

It was a supreme knock from Livingstone, who finally got a half-century under his belt in the IPL. His previous best score in the competition was 44 off 26 for Rajasthan Royals all the way back in 2019.

His 60 included 10 boundaries, with five of those clearing the rope, while he finished with fine bowling figures of 3-25.

Expensive spell for Choudhary

It was a day to forget for CSK's Mukesh Choudhary, who went for 52 off his four overs, taking just one wicket, which came in the very first over of the match.

Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer put Bangladesh on the ropes as South Africa closed in on victory on day four of the first Test at Kingsmead.

The Proteas were bowled out for 204 in their second innings in Durban on Sunday, setting the tourists 274 to win.

Captain Dean Elgar top-scored with 64, while debutant Ryan Rickelton complied an unbeaten 39 as wickets tumbled at the other end.

Ebadot Hossain (3-40), Mehidy Hasan (3-85) and Taskin Ahmed (2-24) were the Tigers' wicket-takers on the penultimate day, but their hopes of taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series appear to be slim after they were reduced to 11-3 before bad light brought play to an early end.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Mominul Haque were dismissed by Maharaj (2-7) after Harmer removed Shadman Islam, leaving South Africa needing seven wickets for victory on the final day.

Ebadot snared Sarel Erwee leg before after the Proteas resumed on 6-0, but Bangladesh let Elgar off the hook twice before he brought up a 21st Test half-century.

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Yasir Ali dropped the skipper in the slips and Keegan Petersen was fortunate that Mominul opted against reviewing when he was struck in front on 14 by Khaled Ahmed, as umpire Marais Erasmus kept his finger down.

Elgar fell lbw to Taskin after lunch and Petersen (36) was dismissed by Mehidy before Temba Bavuma fell for only four.

Rickelton played patiently to keep the lead building as South Africa lost their last six wickets for 56 runs. Maharaj and Harmer then spun South Africa well on course for victory before bad light prevented them from making further inroads.

 

Elgar rides his luck

Skipper Elgar was grateful for some sloppy work in the slips from Yasir and Shanto, taking advantage of those strokes of luck to spend almost three hours at the crease to strengthen South Africa's grip on the game.

Rickelton struck four boundaries but was denied a debut half-century when he ran out of partners.

Tigers in a spin

The tourists surely needed a solid start to their second innings to have any chance of pulling off a victory, but they were rocked when Shadman was caught by Petersen at slip off Harmer's second ball.

Things went from bad to worse for Bangladesh when left-arm tweaker Maharaj struck twice in an over, bowling first-innings centurion Joy and pinning Mominul in front.

Alyssa Healy produced a record-breaking 170 to guide Australia to their seventh Women's Cricket World Cup but she still believes she is not a "big-game player".

Healy registered the highest score – by a man or woman – in a World Cup final in a superb 138-ball knock, becoming the first player to score a century in both the semi-final and final at the same World Cup.

The wicketkeeper-batter's scintillating outing also ensured she set a record for the most runs scored by a woman in the tournament, taking her tally to an astonishing 509 in Christchurch, as Australia defeated England by 71 runs on Sunday.

But the 32-year-old opener does not think she can be labelled as a player for the big occasions despite her heroics.

"Not sure I'll let you name it. I'll let you find it," Healy told reporters after the final. "But, 'brave'? I just think you've got to be brave to come out in situations like that to be able to play your game.

"You know that the opposition are going to come really hard at you. They want to take your wicket early and you have got to be brave and back your skills.

"So, personally, I'm really proud of that. I still don't think I'm a big-game player. So, turn that down, but you have just got to be brave to be able to do it."

Healy became the first player – man or woman – to hit 150 or more in the final of a world tournament, and she acknowledged that the victory means even more after failing to make the World Cup final in 2017.

"I don't think I've ever dreamt of anything like that before, I can guarantee you that," she added.

"But I'm just really proud to have been able to contribute to this win. I messaged Pez [Ellyse Perry] this morning when I found out she was in the XI and I said, like, 'I just want to be a part of it. I really want this. I want to contribute to this win and to be able to do that was really special.

"I ran drinks the whole 2013 World Cup. You know we didn't make the final in 2017. So, for me, this trophy means a lot and to be able to turn up at the back end and go all right in the last two games means a whole heap."

The records continued to tumble for Healy, whose 170 also surpassed Adam Gilchrist's 149 in 2007 as the highest score in a World Cup final by an Australian wicketkeeper-batter, but she remains uninterested in those achievements.

"That's pretty cool, [but] I'm not in the game for that sort of stuff. Getting our team into a winning position was the most important thing," she responded on Gilchrist's record.

"I guess one day when I retire and I reflect on my career, it's a moment that I can kind of remember and cherish that. I always looked up to Adam Gilchrist; Uncle Ian [Healy] first, but then Adam Gilchrist, so to knock him off the pedestal - sorry about that - but I'm sure he'll appreciate it."

Alyssa Healy made history by producing one of the greatest ODI innings as Australia beat England by 71 runs to win the Women's Cricket World Cup for a seventh time.

Healy crafted a magnificent 170 – a record score by a woman or man in a World Cup final – as Australia racked up a mammoth 356-5 after Heather Knight won the toss and opted to field at Hagley Oval on Sunday.

The wicketkeeper-batter struck 26 boundaries in an outstanding 138-ball knock, becoming the first player to score a century in both the semi-final and final at the same World Cup.

Healy's masterclass also ensured she set a record for the most runs scored by a woman in a World Cup, taking her tally to an astonishing 509 in Christchurch.

Rachael Haynes (68) and Healy got Australia off to a dream start with an opening stand of 160 before number three Beth Mooney made 62 off only 47 balls.

Healy's epic knock was finally ended by Anya Shrubsole (3-46) in the 46th over, the centurion stumped by Amy Jones.

Defending champions England faced a massive run chase and Nat Sciver ensured they might make a good fight of it, scoring a brilliant unbeaten 148.

Sciver was left stranded, though, as opener Tammy Beaumont was the second-highest scorer with only 27.

Alana King (3-64), Jess Jonassen (3-57) and Megan Schutt (2-42) did the bulk of the damage as Australia regained the title.

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