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Travis Head's second ODI century propelled visitors Australia to a formidable total of 313/7 in the first ODI against Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday.

Known for his hard-hitting batsmanship, the left-hander was asked to open the innings in the absence of regular openers David Warner and delivered in style scoring 101 off just 72 deliveries with the help of 12 fours and three sixes. He was dismissed of an Ifitkhar Ahmed delivery in the 24th over after smashing the Pakistani bowling attack minus Shaheen Shah Afridi to all parts of the ground.

Ben McDermott, the younger son of former Aussie pacer Craig McDermott who was also named the most valuable player at the recent Big Bash T20 tournament, proved a valuable foil to Head's hitting after the departure of captain Aaron Finch for 23. Playing only his third ODI, McDermott scored his maiden half century before being run out for 55.

Once Head departed, Pakistani bowlers were able to rein in the Australian batters who at one time seemed on target for a much bigger score than the 313 they got in their 50 overs.

All-rounder Cameroon Green provided some relatively subdued fireworks towards the end of the innings with his 30 ball 40 not out but it paled in comparison to the start provided by Head on a lightning fast outfield.

For Pakistan, Haris Mahmood and debutant Zahid Mahmood took two wickets apiece while Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah got one wicket each.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl against a shorthanded Australia in the first match of the three-match series, as both teams returned to the 50-over format after lengthy absences.

Missing a host of stars from their historic Test series victory, Australia have been further depleted after spinner Ashton Agar and wicketkeeper-batter Josh Inglis tested positive for Covid-19. Team physiotherapist Brendan Wilson has also tested positive, but other players and staff returned negative tests.

With just 13 players to choose from, Australia have handed debuts to quick Nathan Ellis and legspinner Mitchell Swepson, who played in the second and third Tests in Pakistan after five years on the fringes of the national squad.

Favourites Pakistan also boast new faces with 34-year-old legspinner Zahid Mahmood and young quick Mohammad Wasim Jnr making their ODI debuts. But star quick Shaheen Shah Afridi, who was hit on his left knee by a ball while batting during training on Monday, was left out.

Much like the series-deciding third Test, the pitch is expected to be flat and favour batting amid stifling heat but might offer reverse swing in dewy conditions.

While the white-ball leg of the tour, which comprises two further ODIs and a one-off T20 entirely played in Lahore, is somewhat low-key, there is a lot on the line for both teams who are relatively lowly placed in the World Cup Super League, having played a limited number of 50-over matches.

Australia have won their three series played during the cycle but are seventh after playing just six matches - the last being against West Indies in July. Pakistan are also desperate to make up ground, sitting 10th after a 3-0 defeat to England in the UK last July in their last ODI hitout.

Australia swept Pakistan in a three-match ODI series on their last tour of Pakistan in 1998, capped by a famous rundown of 316 in the series-finale in Lahore in the then second-highest successful chase in history.

Australia: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Travis Head 3 Ben McDermott, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Marcus Stoinis 6 Cameron Green 7 Alex Carey (wk), 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Natham Ellis, 10 Adam Zampa 11 Mitchell Swepson

Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Imam-ul-Haq, 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Khushdil Shah, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Mohammad Wasim Jnr, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Zahid Mahmood