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Posted at: Jun 12, 2019, 4:45 PM; last updated: Jun 12, 2019, 10:53 PM (IST)ICC WORLD CUP

Warner hits century as Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs

Warner hits century as Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
Australia’s David Warner celebrates his century. Reuters

Taunton, June 12

David Warner scored his first century since returning from his ban as holders Australia ran out comfortable 41-run winners over Pakistan in the World Cup at Taunton on Wednesday.

The opener, back after serving a 12-month suspension for his part in last year's ball-tampering scandal, struck 107 in Australia's 307 all out in 49 overs.

Mohammad Amir took five wickets as Pakistan recovered from a poor start to limit Australia's total, and they were well in contention as they reached 136-2 in reply.

When Imam-ul-Haq was caught down the leg side off a wide delivery having just reached his half century and Mohammad Hafeez fell just short of his when he hit a Finch full toss straight to deep square leg, Pakistan's chances faded.

But a thrilling counter-attack started by Hasan Ali and continued by skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz put them right back in contention at 264-7 with six overs left.

Mitchell Starc settled Australian nerves when he had Riaz caught behind for 45 and two balls later bowled Amir before Sarfaraz was run out for 40 as Pakistan were dismissed for 266. 

Earlier, fast bowler Mohammad Amir (5/30) sizzled with a fifer to help Pakistan bowl out Australia for 307, built around David Warner’s critic-silencing century.

Owing to Amir’s excellent bowling, Australia’s innings ended with an over to spare.

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

Australia seemed headed for a mammoth total as they were 223 for two in the 34th over but Amir’s sensational spell changed the complexion of the game.

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, 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.

Apart from the singles and twos, both managed to find the ropes occasionally, before Finch carted Mohammad Hafeez for 16 runs with the help of a six and two boundaries.

After a stand that yielded 146 runs in 22.1 overs, Amir provided Pakistan the much-needed breakthrough when he had Finch hitting one high up in the air towards extra cover.

Warner hit Hasan Ali for two consecutive fours, and then, there was a classy cover drive by Steve Smith.

A couple of quiet overs was followed by a productive one from Australia’s point of view, with Warner smashing Shoaib Malik for a six over long-on and a four to pick 15 runs.

Sitting pretty at 189 for two in the 29th over, Smith tried to up the ante but in doing so, ended up giving a catch to Asif Ali, who had dropped a sitter in the slips earlier.

Glenn Maxwell struck 20 in 10 balls even as Warner reached the three-figure mark when an edge flew between the keeper and the wide slip for a four. He got out shortly after celebrating his century with gusto.

The show, then, belonged to Amir. — Agencies

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