Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: David Warner century leads Australia to victory over Pakistan

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

David Warner jumps in celebration after reaching his century for Australia against Pakistan. Press Association
David Warner jumps in celebration after reaching his century for Australia against Pakistan. Press Association

David Warner produced his first international century since returning from his ball-tampering suspension to lead Australia to a 41-run win over Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup at Taunton on Wednesday.

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.

Mohammad Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of 5-30 in 10 overs but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307, which ultimately proved beyond their opponents.

"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 200-7 in the 34th over. But captain Sarfaraz 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 Sarfaraz.

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

Babar Azam was in superb touch, with 28 of his 30 runs coming in fours, before he mishooked 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 legside to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

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Finch 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.

"I'm very disappointed," said Sarfaraz. "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."

Australia have three wins in four matches while Pakistan are struggling, with just one victory in their four games so far.

Updated: June 13, 2019 10:07 AM

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