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Australia prevail over fighting Pakistan by 41 runs


Australia’s David Warner celebrates his century during the ICC Cricket World Cup match against Pakistan at the County Ground in Taunton, on Wednesday. – AP/PTI
 TAUNTON, June 12: David Warner was not in his usual destructive self but effective nevertheless, his first international century since completing the ball-tampering ban setting up Australia’s 41-run win over Pakistan in the World Cup here Wednesday.

Australia looked set for a total in excess of 350 while Warner and captain Aaron Finch (82) were at the crease, but Mohammad Amir (5/30) staged a grand comeback with his best ODI bowling figures to bowl their opponents out for 307.

Pakistan’s innings ended at 266 in 45.4 overs but not before the duo of Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz gave the Australians a scare with a rearguard action that revived their hopes for a while.

Pakistan were at one stage tottering at 160 for six in the 30th over.

Riaz smashed 45 off 39 balls with two fours and three sixes, while Sarfaraz made 40 off 48. The side’s top-scorer though was opener Imam-ul-Haq (53), Mohammad Hafeez contributed 46 while Hasan Ali blazed away to 32 off only 15 balls before Mitchell Starc closed out the game at the death.

“When I got out we had 70 balls to go, as the ‘in’ batter you want to bat 50 overs. We should have been around 340-50, credit to Pakistan, their second spells were fantastic and made it hard for us to hit down the ground,” Warner said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The dashing left-handed opener struck 107 off 111 balls, with 11 fours and a six.

Earlier, sent into bat after the coin landed in Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s favour, Australia were off to a steady start with Warner and Finch helping them to 50 in 10 overs.

Amir started with a maiden and going with only four mainline bowlers, Australia knew they needed to score big to put Pakistan under pressure.

The Aussies broke free against Shaheen Afridi, with Finch hitting him over the deep square leg fence for a six and Warner employing the pull shot to get a four. As Australia looked for quick runs, Amir showed his class by bowling another maiden over. – PTI

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