CRICKET T20 AUSTRALIA PAKISTAN
Swing king Mitchell Starc has delivered a searing spell to help Australia to defeat Pakistan by 10 wickets and clinch their T20 series in Perth.
Chasing just 107 to win at Optus Stadium on Friday night, Aaron Finch (52 not out) and David Warner (48 not out) steered the hosts to a 2-0 series victory with 49 balls to spare.
Pakistan's bowlers had no answers for the destructive duo as Australia extended their T20 international winning streak to eight games - their best since 2010.
But it was Starc who set up the clinical victory, cashing in on a green-tinged pitch to help Australia to restrict Pakistan to 8-106.
Starc (2-29) snared the key wicket of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and skittled No.3 Mohammad Rizwan to be on a hat-trick in just the third over.
Haris Sohail survived the hat-trick ball but the damage was done, with Iftikhar Ahmed (45) Pakistan's only batsman to make a significant contribution after Finch won the toss and elected to bowl.
Kane Richardson snared 3-18 on a bouncy deck that caused the tourists, who fielded two debutants among four changes, plenty of headaches.
Having also recently dispatched of Sri Lanka in a 3-0 series whitewash, Australia will finish the year unbeaten in T20s after transforming their fortunes in the shorter format.
"I think all our white-ball cricket since about January has been excellent so that's most pleasing," coach Justin Langer said.
"We picked guys specifically to play their roles in this series. They've all done it really well - they did it against Sri Lanka as well.
"The boys are playing very good cricket."
Babar, the world's No.1 T20 batsman, had loomed as the danger man after making half-centuries in the opening two matches.
But he tallied just six before being trapped lbw by Starc, with the decision confirmed on review.
Starc's next ball was a ripsnorter - an inswinger on a good length which went straight through Rizwan's defences and cannoned into leg stump.
The good times kept coming, with NSW seamer Sean Abbott (2-14) claiming an emotional wicket on return to international cricket.
Abbott, representing Australia for the first time since 2014, fell to his knees and pumped his fists after dismissing Imam Ul Haq with a short-pitched delivery which the opener top-edged to Ben McDermott at midwicket.
Iftikhar set about restoring Pakistan's innings but quickly ran out of partners, with Ashton Agar's superb catch to dismiss Imad Wasim exemplifying the hosts' sharp fielding.
Steve Smith was named player of the series for his masterful unbeaten 80 in Canberra.