Babar Azam’s 55-ball knock was laced with five boundaries and one six. @ Getty Images
Babar Azam’s 55-ball knock was laced with five boundaries and one six. @ Getty Images

Babar Azam carried on his fine form from the Abu Dhabi Test to the Twenty20s scoring an unbeaten 68, while left-arm spinner Imad Wasim picked three wickets as Pakistan thrashed Australia by 66 runs in the first of the three-match Twenty20 Internationals at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Put into bat, Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman in the fifth over after he edged it to Nathan Coulter-Nile at short cover off Billy Stanlake. Azam, who missed out on a maiden Test century by one run in the Abu Dhabi Test, was involved in a 73-run partnership for the second wicket with experienced Mohammad Hafeez. Azam’s 55-ball knock was laced with five boundaries and one six, while Hafeez scored two boundaries and as many sixes during his 30-ball 39.

The partnership was broken in the 14th over with Hafeez mistiming a pull off D’Arcy Short and ended up finding a top edge to give Ben McDermott a simple catch at long on.

Azam batted with the tail that hardly contributed, with the remaining six batsmen departing for single-digit scores. A cameo from Hasan Ali down at the end helped Pakistan reach 155/8 after 20 overs, Ali scored 17 off 8 with two fours and a six. For Australia, Stanlake and Andrew Tye claimed three wickets.

In reply, Australia were in all sorts of trouble with Wasim cleaning up both openers, captain Finch and Short for a duck and four respectively. Fast bowler Faheem Ashraf accounted for the next two wickets in Chris Lynn (14) and Glenn Maxwell (2) as Australia slumped to 16/4 in the fourth over.

Coulter-Nile tried to resist the Pakistan onslaught with a 29-ball 34, but received no support from the other end and was cleaned up by leg-spinner Shadab Khan while trying to smash it over long on.

Australia were skittled out for 89 in 16.5 overs – their joint-third lowest T20 score – as Pakistan registered their biggest T20 victory over Australia and improved upon the 45-run win they achieved in July at Harare.

Brief scores: Pakistan 155/8 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 68*; Billy Stanlake 3/21, Andrew Tye 3/24) beat Australia 89 all out in 16.5 overs (Nathan Coulter-Nile 34; Imad Wasim 3/20)