David Warner and Mitchell Marsh symbolized Australia’s insatiability with the bat and Adam Zampa’s ruthlessness with the ball as the five-time champions recorded a bracing 62-run win over Pakistan in the World Cup match in Bengaluru on Friday. Cheeky hundreds from Warner (163 off 124 balls) and Marsh (121 off 108 balls) led Australia to an imposing 367 for 9. Pakistani batters fought valiantly but could only reach 305 as leg-spinner Zampa (4/53) struck blows at crucial junctures . intersections. Australia must thank both Warner, who scored his 21st ODI hundred, and Marsh, his second ton, for keeping their World Cup campaign on track with a blistering attack.
The Aussie openers amassed 259 runs in just 203 balls, and it was only the fourth time in World Cup history that both openers have scored centuries in the same match.
Australia needed a dominant show to boost their confidence after three mediocre tries that yielded two defeats and a win in this tournament, and they did it with a bang.
The only spanner in the works was left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose five-wicket haul (5/54) was just a sad reminder of what other Pakistani bowlers could have done with a little thought.
Warner, who was dropped twice at 10 and 105, and Marsh were at their best against a Pakistani attack that lacked direction on a slippery pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, with a fast outfield adding value to their shots.
They were either too full, too short or strayed to the leg side, and the Australian batters needed no second invitation to exploit the flowing freebies.
This could all have been a little different for Pakistan if Usama Mir, who replaced Shadab Khan, had kept a simple skier from Warner at Afridi, whose clever variations were a joy to watch, in the ring.
Warner was then ranked 10th out of 22 in Australia.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam handed the ball to Haris Rauf in the ninth, hoping for a breakthrough. But right from that moment on, the Aussies shifted into top gear.
The right-arm pacer was driven for 24 runs in his first over. Warner started the carnage with a four and six and Marsh ended it with three straight fours.
Thereafter, Australia’s run-rate barely fell below seven for the rest of the innings.
Hasan Ali found movement away from Marsh early on, but Warner tackled him head-on with a series of pulls and moves, including a monster six that crashed onto the roof.
Pakistan fielded their spinners Mir and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawas but they failed to make any impact.
They were rather unimaginative and continued to feed both Warner and Marsh, who favored the ground route early in his innings, with short balls that were effortlessly put away.
Australia got their 100 in the 13th over, 200th in the 30th over and 300 in the 41st over as their running machine marched inexorably forward.
Warner brought up his hundred, fourth straight against Pakistan in ODIs, with a single from Mir, and the trademark jump-and-punch celebration followed to the delight of a near-capacity crowd, cheering on both sides.
Birthday boy Marsh soon followed his senior partner in reaching the three-figure mark with a boundary off Mir, and he celebrated the milestone with a mighty roar.
Marsh departed quickly when his charge to Afridi was cleared by Mir at short fine leg, a rare opportunity for a Pakistani fielder to hold on to a catch on a day when they dropped three catches, along with numerous other fumbles on the field.
He only walked back after helping Warner post the second-best opening stand in the World Cups after 282 between Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga in 2011.
After Marsh’s dismissal, Pakistan managed to pick some quick wickets – in fact 8 of them for 108 runs to keep Australia below 400, which once seemed a real possibility.
Even then, 369 was a steep mountain. But there was an underlying fearlessness and efficiency with which Pakistan approached their pursuit.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq, who sometimes reminds of his legendary uncle Inzamam-ul-Haq with his neat timing and sharp shots, made his first fifty (70 off 71 balls) of this tournament, while Abdullah Shafique (64 off 61 balls ) ) continued his fine ball after coming on for the injured Fakhar Zaman.
Together they milked 134 effortless runs in 127 balls. Of course, they were also helped by a drop each.
Imam was dropped by Pat Cummins of Glenn Maxwell on 48, while Shafique was given a life by substitute Sean Abbot of Cummins on 27.
However, Marcus Stoinis, who was not afraid to dig the ball into the field to get some bounce, took out both Imam and Shafique in quick succession and leg-spinner Zampa snatched the prized wicket of Babar when Pakistan appeared to have hit the ball . slider.
But Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel added 56 runs off 48 balls to keep Pakistan steady as the Aussies tried to apply constant pressure in the middle overs.
Their effort eventually paid off when Zampa got the wickets of both Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed with skidders that both batters failed to read, leaving them as leg-for-victims.
These dismissals also ended Pakistan’s hopes of pulling off a miracle.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article