Australia on Wednesday defeated Pakistan by 41 runs in a high-scoring match of the ongoing cricket World Cup competition. The highlight of the Australian innings was David Warner’s superb century, his first ton since serving a one-year ban for ball tampering.
Batting first, Australia were all out for 307 in 49 overs after their spectacular batting collapse, thanks to a splendid spell of 5-30 by Mohammad Amir. Warner along with Aaron Finch gave a perfect start to his side as the duo put up 146 runs for the first wicket’s partnership in 22 overs until Finch departed off Amir’s bowling.
While Warner held on to his wicket, he did not get support from the Australian middle order batsmen. But this did not stop him from maintaining a healthy run rate of over six an over. When he lost his wicket at 107 off Shaheen Afridi’s bowling in the 38th over, the Australians were on course to pile up a huge total with the team’s score being 242 for 4.
That’s when Amir began to wreak havoc as the Australian middle order batsmen and tail-enders found him unplayable.
In reply, Pakistan’s response was sluggish as their opening batsmen made a cautious start. Fakhar Zaman was first to depart without bothering the scorer for a duck. Pakistan’s total was just 2. They continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Imam ul-Haq was the only batsman to cross fifty with Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed scoring 46 and 40 respectively. Wahab Riaz, who came to bat at number nine gave his side some hope as he scored a quick 45 in 49 deliveries, but he fell to Mitchell Starc in the 43rd over, when the team’s total was 264 for 8. The remaining batsmen could only add two more runs before Pakistan being bowled out in the 46th over.
Reacting to his side’s defeat, Pakistani captain Sarfaraz said, “I’m very disappointed. 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.”
The latest defeat has pushed Pakistan to eighth in the points table while Australia continue to occupy the second position with six points.
India take on New Zealand in a crucial encounter later today.
Australia 307 (49 overs): Warner 107, Finch 82, Amir 5-30
Pakistan 266 (45.4 overs): Imam 53, Hafeez 46, Cummins 3-33