The first of three T20 internationals between Pakistan and Australia in Sydney on Sunday was abandoned, saving the tourists from a likely defeat.

In a match that was reduced to 15-overs per side due to repeated interruptions of rain, the hosts were well-placed at 41-0 after 3.1 overs in purist of a revised 119-run target when the showers returned to force the match officials to call off the game.

Earlier, leading from the front, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam scored an unbeaten 59 off 38 balls as Pakistan recovered from early blows to 10-2 to manage 107-5 in 15 overs after being invited to bat before the play was halted due to rain.

The visitors’ innings began on a poor note as Fakhar Zaman (0) was caught at backward point by Steven Smith off left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc in the second ball of the first over.

Haris Sohail also holed out Smith at the same position off Kane Richardson in the penultimate delivery of the second over.

This time Mohammad Rizwan (31 off 33) came to join Babar as the two batsmen two stitched up 60 runs for the third wicket with their quality strokeplay and clever running between the wickets. The partnership ended in the 11th over when Rizwan was caught by Pat Cummins at boundary while attempting to clear the rope off spinner Ashton Agar.

The play was stopped in the 13th over with the scoreboard reading 88-3. Upon resumption of play, Asif Ali was dismissed by Richardson for 11, caught by Agar in deep midwicket.

Babar brought up his 11th T20 fifty with a boundary off Richardson. His unbeaten knock was studded with five fours and two sixes. 

Imad Wasim fell to Starc for a duck on the first ball of 15th over.

Australia got off to a flamboyant start in modest chase, with Aaron Finch (37* off 16 balls) punishing pacer Mohammad Irfan with classic shots all over the park. The lanky pacer conceded 31 runs in just two overs in his first international game in more than three years.  

The second game of the series will be played in Canberra on Tuesday while the third in Perth on Friday. The two sides will then face each other in a two-Test series.


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