LAHORE  -   Faisal Akram and Ahmed Khan guided Pakistan U16 to a four-wicket victory over Australia U16 in the third 50-over match to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Sunday.

According to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman, the highlight of the match was superb bowling performance by left-arm bowler Faisal Akram, who grabbed five wickets for 26 and an all-round performance by fast bowler Ahmed Khan, who captured three wickets for 40 and also slammed unbeaten 22 runs. Multan-born Faisal and Swabi-born Ahmed had also excelled in Pakistan’s five-wicket in the opening match played on last Wednesday by sharing six wickets between them.

Faisal and Ahmed justified their captain Umer Eman’s decision to bat first, when they bowled with discipline and accuracy and took wickets at regular intervals as Australia were bowled out for 140 in 37.3 overs. Australia captain Noah McFadyen top-scored with a 65-ball 38, an innings that included five fours and one six, while Nivethan Radhakrishnan scored 33 off 40 balls with the help of three fours and one six. The two added 67 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership.

In their target chase, Pakistan were off to a shaky start as they lost two early wickets for just 11 runs. However, Haseebullah Khan stonewalled at one end with a 72-ball 33 that included five fours. Pakistan were then reduced to 96 for six in 29.3 overs before a 46-run seventh-wicket unbroken stand between Rizwan Mehmood and Ahmed Khan took the team green home in the 39th over.

Rizwan remained not out on 36 off 42 balls, with his innings including seven fours. Ahmed, who had scored an unbeaten half-century in the second game, completed a satisfying day by following up his three wickets with a run-a-ball 22 not out. The fourth 50-over-match match will be played on Wednesday (January 16).

SCORES IN BRIEF:

AUSTRALIA U16: 140, 37.3 overs (Noah McFadyen 38, Nivethan Radhakrishnan 33, Connor Cook 13; Faisal Akram 5-26, Ahmed Khan 3-32)

PAKISTAN U16: 142-6, 38.5 overs (Rizwan Mehmood 36 not out, Haseebullah Khan 33, Ahmed Khan 22 not out; Joshua Smith 2-22, Connor Cook 2-31).