Pakistan failed to make full use of a brilliant century by Haris Sohail as they went down by 20 runs in the fifth and final one-day international against Australia in Dubai to lose the five-match series 5-0.
Haris hit a solid 129-ball 130 with 11 boundaries and three sixes but as Pakistan looked on course for a tough chase of a 328-run target, Australia came back strongly to dismiss the left-hander and keep Pakistan to 307-7 in 50 overs.
Usman Khawaja made a 111-ball 98 with ten boundaries while Glenn Maxwell smashed a brisk 33-ball 70 with three towering sixes and ten boundaries to lift Australia to an imposing 327-7 in 50 overs.
Pakistan were off to a poor start when Abid Ali fell for nought in their chase, Abid had scored a hundred on debut in the last game.
But Haris added an invaluable 108 for the second-wicket with Shan Masood who hit his maiden half century off 54 balls with three boundaries.
Haris, who hit his maiden century in the first game in Sharjah, then threatened to take away the game with a 102-run stand for the fourth-wicket with Umar Akmal but when things looked in control they both departed within one run. Umar hit three boundaries in his 44-ball 43-run knock.
Stand-in skipper Imad Wasim fought with a brisk 34-ball 50 not out with six boundaries and a six but Pakistan’s brilliant fight ended in a losing cause.
Pakistan had rested six of their key players, including the regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for the series, to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30 and to test their bench strength.
That bore fruits as Mohammad Rizwan (two centuries), Abid (century on debut) and fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain emerged as potential contenders for regular places.
Finch praised Khawaja’s knock and overall team performance.
“Khawaja, his last couple of months in white ball cricket have been great, and he led from the front in India. I was disappointed he didn’t get a hundred here, he played a great knock,” said Finch.
Imad hoped Pakistan will recover from the loss when key players return.
“Two hundreds in four games is good,” said Imad of Haris. “He’s worked really hard on his fitness, and it’s paid off. Shan also played really well.
“No matter what players are playing, 5-0 is a bad loss. But we have to chin up as we have a series coming up against England and the World Cup. “
Australian innings had four half-centuries, as apart from Khawaja and Maxwell, Shaun Marsh scored 61 and Finch made 53.
Finch and Khawaja put on 134 for the first-wicket to lay the foundation stone, their second hundred plus partnership in the series. Usman Shinwari, who took 4-49 in his ten overs, provided Pakistan with the breakthrough by bowling Finch off his pads.
Khawaja added another 80 with Marsh to consolidate the innings while Marsh and Maxwell added 60 for the third.
Khawaja looked set for his third hundred this month — after scoring his first two in India – but a few dot balls put pressure on him as he gave a simple catch to Yasir Shah off Shinwari.
Maxwell, playing his 100th ODI, and Marsh furthered the innings as the two took the total past 250-mark. Marsh holed out off Junaid Khan who had figures of 3-73 in his ten overs.
Maxwell gave the real impetus to the innings with Australia adding 107 in the last ten and 54 in the last five overs.
Australia won the first two matches in Sharjah by eight wickets apiece, third in Abu Dhabi by eight runs and fourth in Dubai by six runs.
This is Australia’s sixth consecutive ODI series win over Pakistan since 2002.
Australia beat Pakistan by 20 runs in fifth and final ODI in Dubai
Australia 327-7 in 50 overs (Usman Khawaja 98, Glenn Maxwell 70, Shaun Marsh 61, Aaron Finch 53; Usman Shinwari 4-49, Junaid Khan 3-73)
Pakistan 307-7 in 50 overs (Haris Sohail 130, Imad Wasim 50 not out, Shan Masood 50; Jason Behrendorff )