Australia rode on punishing centuries from openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh to beat Pakistan by 62 runs in their World Cup match in Bengaluru on Friday. Australia’s total of 367-9 was built on Warner’s 163 with Marsh, on his 32nd birthday, hitting 121. Pakistan were undone by poor bowling and fielding which saw Warner dropped having made just 10. Leg spinner Adam Zampa then ripped through the middle order with figures of 4-53 as Pakistan were bowled out for 305 in 45.3 overs, leaving both teams with two wins and as many losses.
The win on Friday helped Australia replace Pakistan in fourth place in the points table. In the meantime Babar Azam-led side slipped to fifth place.
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Mohammad Rizwan (46) and Saud Shakeel (30) added 57 for the fourth wicket as Pakistan needed 168 from the last 20 overs but Pat Cummins dismissed Saud Shakeel while Zampa stood in for Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed (26) and Mohammad Nawaz (14) to end their stand.
Australia dropped Shafique with a substitute Sean Abbott wasting a simple chance over the boundary from Cummins when the opener had made 27, while the skipper then dropped Imam from Zampa when the batsman was on 48.
But Marcus Stoinis‘s short deliveries required both openers within 20 runs, while Cummins took a fine catch at mid-off off Adam Zampa to dismiss opposition captain Babar Azam for 18.
Earlier, Warner and Marsh put up Australia’s impressive total.
Warner survived a leg-before appeal from the very first ball of the match and was then dropped for 10 in the fifth over before hitting a punishing 124-ball 163 after Australia were sent in to bat on a flat Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch.
Marsh hit a 108-ball 121 as the pair cruised to an Australian World Cup opening record 259 in the 34th over, much to the delight of a crowd of 30,000.
Warner’s innings had 14 boundaries and nine towering sixes as he and Marsh spared none of the Pakistani bowlers. Marsh’s knock was peppered with ten boundaries and nine sixes.
Their stand – just 23 short of the World Cup opening record of 282 by Sri Lanka Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan against Zimbabwe in Pallekele in 2011 — was helped by a lackluster performance by Pakistan in the field.
(With AFP inputs)
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