Steven Smith struck a brisk unbeaten half-century to guide Australia to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the second T20I international in Canberra on Tuesday.

The right-hander hit 80* off 51 balls as the hosts chased down a target of 151 in with nine balls to spare to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. The first T20I in Sydney was abandoned due to rain.

Earlier, Iftikhar Ahmed hit a whirlwind 34-ball 62 while skipper Babar Azam scored 50 off 38 balls to register his second half-century in the series as the hosts posted 150-6 in their 20 overs after being winning the toss and electing to bat.

The hosts got off to yet another miserable start, with Fakhar Zaman (2) tossing a straight catch to David Warner off paceman Pat Cummins in the 4th over.

In the next over, Haris Sohail popped a return catch to pacer Kane Richardson to leave the hosts reeling at 29-2.

Babar and Mohammad Rizwan (14 off 16) stitched up 33 runs for the third wicket to steady the innings before the latter was dismissed by spinner Ashton Agar, who also snared Asif Ali (4) in his next over.

Babar brought up his 12th half-century in T20Is off 37 balls with the help of six boundaries before being run out, thanks to David Warner’s incredible direct hit from the midwicket.

Iftikhar hit five boundaries and three sixes in his blistering knock.

In reply, Warner (20 off 11) and skipper Aaron Finch (17 off 14) delivered Australia a flamboyant 30-run stand in just 2.5 overs before the former was bowled out by paceman Mohammad Amir.

Pacer Mohammad Irfan struck in the sixth over to remove Finch, caught comfortably by Babar at mid-off.

This time, Smith and Ben McDermott (21 off 22) combined for a 58-run stand to set the stage for a big win. McDermott was trapped leg-before by Imad Wasim in the 13th over.

Smith reached his fourth T20I fifty with a classic boundary off Irfan in the 15th over. The former skipper hit three fours off Amir in the 17th over and two successive boundaries off Wahab Riaz in the next over.

His unbeaten knock was studded with 11 fours and a six. The final T20I will be played in Perth on Friday.


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