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TAUNTON: Australian opener David Warner reacts after playing a shot as Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed looks on during their match at the County Ground on Wednesday.—AFP
TAUNTON: Australian opener David Warner reacts after playing a shot as Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed looks on during their match at the County Ground on Wednesday.—AFP

TAUNTON: David Warner scored his first international century since completing a ball-tampering ban as Australia returned to winning ways at the World Cup with a 41-run victory over Pakistan at Taunton on Wednesday.

Seamer Mohammad Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of five for 30 in 10 overs but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307, which ultimately proved beyond their opponents.

Warner made 107 and, with Australia captain Aaron Finch (82), got the defending champions off to a flying start with an opening stand of 146 — the highest partnership for any wicket at this World Cup to date.

“It means a lot to a batter to get a century,” said man-of-the-match Warner. “It was a great effort from Pakistan in the end but our bowlers bowled excellent. They probably got closer than we expected.”

Pakistan, after a middle-order collapse that saw them lose three wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls, were all but beaten at 200 for seven in the 34th over.

But captain Sarfraz Ahmed (40) and the big-hitting Wahab Riaz (45) gave them renewed hope with a stand of 64.

Australia, who lost to India on Sunday, were again looking to Mitchell Starc to get them out of a tight spot, as had done in an earlier win over the West Indies and the fast bowler duly delivered with 2-43.

He had Wahab caught behind got off a thin edge, although it needed an Australia review of an original not out decision to leave Pakistan 264-8 Two balls later, Amir played on for a duck before Glenn Maxwell ended the match with a brilliant direct hit run out of Sarfraz.

Pakistan’s chase started badly when Fakhar Zaman fell for a duck slashing Cummins to Kane Richardson at third man.

Babar Azam was in superb touch, with 28 of his 30 runs coming in fours, before he mis-hooked Nathan Coulter-Nile to deep backward square leg.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq was upping the tempo in his 53 when he gloved Pat Cummins (3-33) down the leg-side to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

PAKISTAN’S Wahab Riaz walks off after being dismissed on Wednesday.—Reuters
PAKISTAN’S Wahab Riaz walks off after being dismissed on Wednesday.—Reuters

Finch, an occasional slow bowler, grabbed a real bonus wicket when Mohammad Hafeez (46) hit a rank full toss straight to Starc at deep square leg.

And when Shoaib Malik was brilliantly caught for nought by a diving Carey after inside edging Cummins, Pakistan were in dire straits at 147-5.

Both Warner and Steve Smith, also returning from a year-long ban for ball-tampering, had been jeered by fans in previous games but Pakistan fans largely heeded an appeal from Sarfraz not to boo the pair, preferring to roar chants of “Amir!, Amir!”.

Warner completed his 15th One-day International hundred — and first for Australia since the Test against England in December 2017 — when an edge off Shaheen Shah Afridi flew past slip for four.

An elated Warner leapt in the air in celebration but his 111-ball innings ended soon afterwards when he was caught at point off Shaheen, having gone past fifty for the third time in four innings at this World Cup.

TAUNTON (England): Mohammad Amir celebrates his fifth wicket during the World Cup match against Australia on Wednesday. Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of five for 30 in 10 overs, but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307. The target ultimately proved beyond Pakistan, who lost by 41 runs despite rearguard action from Sarfraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz.—AFP
TAUNTON (England): Mohammad Amir celebrates his fifth wicket during the World Cup match against Australia on Wednesday. Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of five for 30 in 10 overs, but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307. The target ultimately proved beyond Pakistan, who lost by 41 runs despite rearguard action from Sarfraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz.—AFP

“I’m very disappointed,” said Sarfraz. “We lost three wickets in 15 balls and that’s why we lost. We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs apart from Mohammad Amir. We came back and restricted them well but it was a 270-280 pitch.

“We made some runs and got starts but we’ve got to convert them and go long. If you want to win matches your top four must score runs.”

Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA:

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

A.J. Finch c Hafeez b Amir 82 84 6 4 97.61
D.A. Warner c Imam b Shaheen 107 111 11 1 96.39
S.P.D. Smith c Asif b Hafeez 10 13 1 0 76.92
G.J. Maxwell b Shaheen 20 10 2 1 200.00
S.E. Marsh c Malik b Amir 23 26 2 0 88.46
U.T. Khawaja c Wahab b Amir 18 16 3 0 112.50
A.T. Carey lbw b Amir 20 21 2 0 95.23
N.M. Coulter-Nile c Sarfraz b Wahab 2 3 0 0 66.66
P.J. Cummins c Sarfraz b Hasan 2 6 0 0 33.33
M.A. Starc c Malik b Amir 3 6 0 0 50.00
K.W. Richardson not out 1 1 0 0 100.00

EXTRAS (LB-10, W-6, NB-3) 19 - - - --

TOTAL (all out, 50 overs) 307 - - - --

FALL OF WKTS: 1-146 (Finch, 22.1 ov), 2-189 (Smith, 28.4 ov), 3-223 (Maxwell, 33.4 ov), 4-242 (Warner, 37.5 ov), 5-277 (Khawaja, 42.1 ov), 6-288 (Marsh, 44.3 ov), 7-299 (Coulter-Nile, 46.2 ov), 8-302 (Cummins, 47.3 ov), 10-307 (Starc, 49.6 ov).

BOWLING: Mohammad Amir 10-2-30-5 (1w); Shaheen Shah Afridi 10-0-70-2 (1nb, 1w); Hasan Ali 10-0-67-1 (1nb, 3w); Wahab Riaz 8-0-44-1 (1w); Mohammad Hafeez 7-0-60-1; Shoaib Malik 4-0-26-0 (1nb).

PAKISTAN:

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Imam-ul-Haq c Carey b Cummins 53 75 7 0 70.66
Fakhar Zaman c Richardson b Cummins 0 3 0 0 0.00
Babar Azam c Richardson b Coulter-Nile 30 28 7 0 107.14
Mohammad Hafeez c Starc b Finch 46 49 3 1 93.87
Sarfraz Ahmed run out 40 48 1 0 83.33
Shoaib Malik c Carey b Cummins 0 2 0 0 0.00
Asif Ali c Carey b Richardson 5 8 0 0 62.50
Hasan Ali c Khawaja b Richardson 32 15 3 3 213.33
Wahab Riaz c Carey b Starc 45 39 2 3 115.38
Mohammad Amir b Starc 0 2 0 0 0.00
Shaheen Shah Afridi not out 1 6 0 0 16.66

EXTRAS (LB-4, W-9, NB-1) 14 - - - --

TOTAL (all out, 45.4 overs) 266 - - - --

FALL OF WKTS: 1-2 (Fakhar, 2.1 ov), 2-56 (Babar, 10.5 ov), 3-136 (Imam, 251 ov), 4-146 (Hafeez, 26.6 ov), 5-147 (Malik, 27.3 ov), 6-160 (Asif, 29.6 ov), 7-200 (Hasan, 33.5 ov), 8-264 (Wahab, 44.2 ov), 9-265 (Amir, 44.4 ov), 10-266 (Sarfraz, 45.4 ov).

BOWLING: Cummins 10-0-33-3 (1nb); Starc 9-1-43-2 (2w); Richardson 8.4-0-62-2 (2w); Coulter-Nile 9-0-53-1 (2w); Maxwell 7-0-58-0 (1w); Finch 2-0-13-1 (1w).

Result: Australia won by 41 runs.

UMPIRES: N.J. Llong (England) and R.S.A. Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka).

TV UMPIRE: I.J. Gould (England).

MATCH REFEREE: A.J. Pycroft (Zimbabwe).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: David Warner.

STANDINGS

(Tabulated under played, won, lost, no-result, points, net run-rate):

New Zealand 3 3 0 0 6 +2.163

Australia 4 3 1 0 6 +0.057

England 3 2 1 0 4 +1.307

India 2 2 0 0 4 +0.539

Sri Lanka 4 1 1 2 4 -1.517

West Indies 3 1 1 1 3 +2.054

Bangladesh 4 1 2 1 3 -0.714

Pakistan 4 1 2 1 3 -1.796

South Africa 4 0 3 1 1 -0.952

Afghanistan 3 0 3 0 0 -1.493

Updated after Australia vs Pakistan match on Wednesday

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2019