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No slip-ups - well, almost - as Aussies take series

Cricket

Cricket Australia will release all-rounder Marcus Stoinis from the ODI squad in time for the Melbourne Stars’ BBL semi-final tomorrow.

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Stoinis was added to the Australian squad as an injury replacement for Mitchell Marsh ahead of the third one-day international earlier this month.

However, the 27-year-old will now be made available for the Stars’ clash against Perth Scorchers before re-joining the Australian team for the final ODI in Adelaide on Thursday.

The Stars’ Kevin Pietersen last week criticised CA for backflipping on a promise to release Stoinis for their last-start win over Sydney Sixers should he not play against Pakistan.

Stoinis was with the Australian ODI squad in a hotel room in Sydney when the Stars played at the SCG on Saturday night, and was at the time considered a chance of playing on Sunday.

But Stoinis wasn’t selected and was demoted to 12th man duties during the match.

Without Stoinis, Australia pummelled a disappointing Pakistan by 86 runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead heading into the fifth one-dayer on Thursday.

David Warner was named man-of-the-match after clubbing 130 runs off 119 balls and then taking two classic outfield catches to deny Pakistan any hope of reeling in the 354 target.

He paid tribute to spin twins Adam Zampa and Travis Head, who combined for five wickets and are likely to combine again for the dead rubber at Adelaide Oval.

“Obviously not leaving it to Adelaide, which is great. The boys played fantastic,” Warner said.

“It was probably a better wicket to bat on then obviously to bowl on, but (our bowlers) changed their pace. They bowled well, they executed well, and we knew they always had to come hard.

“They knew we had to get 20 overs out of spin, they knew that was their time to attack. Credit to Zampa and Head, they both bowled well and took five wickets between them.”

Australia could opt to rest a number of stars for the final match against Pakistan, opening the door for Stoinis, James Faulkner and fast-bowler Billy Stanlake to be recalled.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was once again left frustrated by his team’s fielding.

“You can’t compete with a side like Australia if you give their top five all chances. Incredibly frustrated, and it’s not through lack of hard work,” he said.

“The gap between the best side in the world and where we sit at the moment is not great in terms of batting and bowling. But in terms of field, athleticism, fitness, running between the wickets, the gap’s massive.”

-AAP

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