Victorious Australia targeting T20 World Cup defence

Aussies see off Pakistan by three wickets before captain Aaron Finch declares: 'Everything we do is with one eye to the World Cup'.

Captain Aaron Finch says Australia are fully focused on retaining the T20 World Cup later this year after continuing their winning ways.

The Aussies, who defeated New Zealand to win the 2021 tournament in November, beat Pakistan comfortably on Wednesday in the only T20 international of their tour.

Finch cracked 55 of 45 balls as the tourists chased down Pakistan's 162 for eight to win by three wickets.

Helped by Travis Head (26 off 14) in a rapid opening stand of 40, Finch only fell late on, a flurry of wickets giving the hosts brief hope.

But, with Australia ahead of the required run rate, Ben McDermott's unbeaten 22 steered them home with five balls to spare.

With Finch and co having also beaten Sri Lanka on home soil since their tournament success in the UAE, Australia have now won 10 of their last 13 T20 internationals, losing only two.

World Cup favourites

With home advantage in October and November, Australia look firm favourites to become the first team to successfully defend the trophy.

Finch said: "Everything we do is with one eye to the World Cup.

"There's been a lot of great performances on this tour and the whole Australia summer. To see so many young cricketers come on is super exciting."

One of those was seamer Nathan Ellis, who took four for 28, while Sean Abbott, also conceded just 28 runs from his four overs.

Character

Finch added: "I thought the way our bowlers attacked that game were fantastic. Nathan Ellis had a tough start but showed real character."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam helped his side make a strong start after they lost the toss.

He went on to score 66 from 46 balls but momentum was lost by his team-mates in the middle overs and Pakistan's final total was clearly well short of what had been possible in Lahore.

Australia head home having won the sides' three-Test series 1-0 but lost the ODI campaign 2-1.

They will return to action in Sri Lanka in June with all three formats being contested.

READ MORE: Check out what happened in Wednesday's draft for The Hundred

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