Pakistan hold on to T20 top spot

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Australia left out Mitchell Starc but still picked three seamers in Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye and Billy Stanlake.

Pakistan cricketer Hasan Ali celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australian cricketer Adam Zampa during the first Twenty20 cricket match between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Finch might have regretted his decision to send the hosts in, after winning the toss, with his top six batsmen scoring 21 runs between them.

Australia's bowlers earlier held up their end of the bargain to restrict the world's No.1-ranked T20 side to 8-155 from 20 overs.

Australia's hopes of taking the lead in the three-match series were soon over as they made a horrendous start to their reply, slumping to 22-6 with spinning all-rounder Imad taking 3-20 in his first global for a year.

Having tasted defeat in the Test series, the belief was that Australia would come out strong in the first T20, but as it turned out, they imploded, just like they did in the Test series against a full-blooded Pakistan attack. Chasing 156, they were shot out for 89 with Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf shredding the top order like it was some school team.

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Even with a different captain, Australia address the same issue, batting.

"That Powerplay was was like a vehicle crash in slow motion", Finch said at the post-match press conference. I think when that many guys get bowled it's obviously alarming, particularly on a flat surface that didn't swing a hell of a lot".

Azam's knock proved to be the difference on a sluggish pitch and his 73-run stand for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (39) put Pakistan on course for a huge total.

Imad Wasim finished with the figures of 3/20 in four overs.

Australian were six down with just 22 runs on the board which not only tells you the story of the match and largely about the state of the batting unit.

The innings was Australia's joint third-lowest score in T20Is (also against Pakistan, in 2012), with their worst performance being the 79 their power-packed batting line-up scraped together against England in 2005 in what was only the second T20I ever played.