Smith puts on masterclass in Aussie win

Scott Bailey
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CRICKET T20 INTL AUSTRALIA PAKISTAN

Steve Smith's 80no off 51 balls helped the Aussies chase down 151 with nine balls to spare

Steve Smith has proved his batting heroics also befit the Twenty20 game by putting on a Manuka Oval masterclass to help Australia to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan.

In the one format of the game he is yet to dominate, Smith smacked 80no in Canberra as the homeside chased down 151 with nine balls to spare.

He averaged just 21 in T20 cricket heading into the summer but has now hit 126 runs for just one out in five games over the past fortnight.

"I don't doubt my ability. I know the tempos of the game I need to go at. I've played a lot of cricket now," Smith said.

"If you look at my batting record in T20 internationals, it's not crash hot.

"But I guess you have to bare in mind I played my first 25 games as a spinner in this format, batting at No.8 or No.9 and coming in slogging.

"I enjoy playing T20 cricket. I have played in a lot of the tournaments around the world and in the IPL ... and I've done reasonably well there."

The former Australian captain was at his vintage best during the 51-ball knock.

He was deft on his feet facing spinner Shadab Khan before playing just about every shot in the book and then some from well outside the coaching manuals.

At one stage he uppercut Mohammad Irfan for four through third man and then played the same shot through fine leg off Wahab Riaz.

He flicked Mohammad Amir for six over backward square and later rocked on the back foot and flayed him over point for four.

Smith has barely played T20 cricket for Australia in recent years but showed he is a must-pick on Tuesday night as a Mr. Fix It for next year's World Cup.

With David Warner bowled by Amir for 20 and Aaron Finch caught on 17, Australia were 2-48 early.

But then Smith took over, hitting 11 fours and a six against the world's top-ranked T20 team.

"I may not be as strong as the other guys," Smith said.

"I use placement and timing.

"The white ball flies off the bat, particularly when it's brand new. If you're timing the ball well, you get value for your shots normally."

Meanwhile Warner's dismissal brought to an end his unbeaten spree of 239 runs, after enduring an entire Sri Lanka series in which he produced a hundred and two half-centuries.

A piece of his magic in the field had earlier removed Pakistan's most dangerous batsman for Australia, with Babar Azam on 50.

Warner picked up the ball one handed from outside the 30-metre circle at mid wicket and threw down the keeper's end stumps to finish the 38-ball knock.

Iftikhar Ahmed then fired late for the visitors, hitting 62 from 34 balls to help propel Pakistan to a competitive total.

Ashton Agar (2-23) and Pat Cummins (1-19) were best for the miserly Australians with the ball from their four overs.

Mitchell Starc also sent down 12 dot balls to finish with 0-25, as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series with the final game to be played in Perth on Friday night.