Pakistan have shown some much-needed resilience to claim a six-wicket victory over Australia in Sunday’s second ODI.
The visitors skittled Australia for 220 before reaching their target with 14 balls to spare at the MCG.
The series-levelling win is Pakistan’s first against Australia in Australia in any format since 2005 – having lost 16 matches in a row – and will inspire hope of a more competitive showing for the remainder of the summer after their Test whitewash.
It was also Pakistan’s first ODI win against Australia at the MCG since 1985 after copping nine straight defeats at the ground.
Stand-in captain Mohammad Hafeez led the way with a polished 72 but would have been out off the fourth ball of the innings if not for Steve Smith dropping a sitter in the slips.
Hafeez, who filled in admirably for injured captain Azhar Ali (hamstring) and vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed (family illness), was handed another lifeline on 55 when Pat Cummins dropped a difficult chance at a deepish cover.
He and Babar Azam had Pakistan humming at 1-140 but yet another batting collapse looked a distinct possibility when both departed in successive overs.
Shoaib Malik was given out caught behind off Pat Cummins but the dismissal was overturned on review.
Malik went on to make an unbeaten 42 off 52 balls.
James Faulkner was the pick of the Australian bowlers with 2-35 while Mitchell Starc took 2-45.
Smith made the curious decision to rely almost exclusively on his pacemen, with part-time spinner Travis Head only given a second over late in the match and Glenn Maxwell not used at all.
The Australian skipper earlier won the toss and elected to bat but was soon left to regret his decision, with David Warner and the recalled Usman Khawaja both falling cheaply to left-arm quick Junaid Khan.
Smith, who made a patient 60 from 101 balls, was the only Australian batsman to make a half-century.
He looked set to carry his bat before his bizarre dismissal, dragging an Imad Wasim delivery onto his foot and then the stumps.
Mitchell Marsh was dismissed by Mohammad Amir for a golden duck and later took 0-32 in a poor performance bound to be scrutinised after his selection in Australia’s Test squad to tour India.
Fellow Test squad inclusions Wade (35) and Glenn Maxwell (23) could not back up their strong performances in Brisbane, both throwing their wickets away after promising starts.
Imad was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, taking 2-37, while Amir cleaned up the tail to finish with 3-47.