Aaron Finch's hot run of form was halted by Shaheen Afridi.
Aaron Finch's hot run of form was halted by Shaheen Afridi.

No.1 goes begging: Australia outclassed by clinical Pakistan

AUSTRALIA'S long wait to climb to the top of the ICC's T20I rankings goes on after a 45-run loss to Pakistan.

Needing a win to leapfrog Pakistan to No.1 on the rankings, Australia was outclassed with bat and ball by Sarfraz Ahmed's team.

After a half-century from Fakhar Zaman and a late cameo from Asif Ali took Pakistan to its biggest total of the series, 18-year-old Shaheen Afridi took three wickets to extinguish Australia's hopes of victory.

Shaheen's first wicket was the series' form batsman, Aaron Finch. The left-arm quick had the Australian captain caught behind off an inside edge in the fifth over, and in his next he trapped Glenn Maxwell (10) plumb in front. In between those two wickets, Faheem Ashraf castled Travis Head (7) to leave Australia three down in the first seven overs.

Playing his first innings of the series, Nic Maddinson (5) was stumped off the bowling of Shadab Khan, before Shaheen bowlded D'Arcy Short (28) to end his tortured 34-ball stay.

A fighting 37 off 24 not out from Alex Carey brought some respectability to the scorecard for Australia. The wicketkeeper was one of only two Australians to pass 20, alongside Short.

All five of Pakistan's bowlers managed to take a wicket.

Earlier, Fakhar Zaman scored 73 off 42 balls at the top of the order and Asif Ali hit an unbeaten 37 off 18 to give Pakistan some much needed impetus at the death.

Andrew Tye was the best of Australia's bowlers, taking 3-35 off his four overs.

Richardson's early breakthrough did little to slow Pakistan down, with Hussain Talat (30) and Sarfraz Ahmed (14) both providing Fakhar good support before falling to Glenn Maxwell and Tye respectively.

The two sides will meet against in Sunday's final (6pm EDT), with Australia to play its final group match against Zimbabwe on Friday (6pm EDT).