World Cup 2019: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
TAUNTON (DNA) – Pakistan on Wednesday restricted Australia to 307 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup match at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Australia opener David Warner scored his first international century since completing a year-long ban for ball-tampering when he reached three figures in a World Cup match against Pakistan.
The left-hander completed his 15th one-day international hundred in Taunton when an outside edge off Shaheen Shah Afridi flew past Asif Ali at slip for his 11th four. He reached his hundred off 102 balls, including one six.
A joyful Warner took off his helmet and leapt in the air to celebrate a century that left reigning champions Australia on course for a big total. He was out shortly afterwards, caught at deep point by Imam-ul-Haq off the bowling of Afridi for 107.
Warner, 32, has enjoyed a successful return to official international cricket at the World Cup, hitting 89 not out against Afghanistan and 56 against India.
Neither Warner nor former Australia captain Steve Smith, also returning from a year-long ball-tampering ban, were booed after being jeered by spectators in previous matches as Pakistan supporters heeded a plea from skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed to leave the pair alone.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to give his bowlers first use of a green-tinged pitch under overcast skies. But Shaheen Shah Afridi, drafted in as an extra seamer after Pakistan dropped leg-spinner Shadab Khan, was not as accurate as fellow left-arm quick Amir.
His first two overs cost 24 runs, with Finch pulling a short ball for six and Warner also cashing in with a pulled four when Afridi failed to pitch up.
Reigning champions Australia are looking to bounce back from a 36-run loss to India — their first defeat of this World Cup — with Pakistan keen to build on a win over England after their last group match, against Sri Lanka, was washed out.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said, “A bit of grass, looks like a green pitch, a bit of moisture, unfortunately we didn’t play the last game, but worked hard with lots of practice.”
Pakistan have dropped Shadab Khan as Shaheen Afridi comes in. Australia captain Aaron Finch said, “One-off games in different conditions, you expect to come up against the best. It’ll have to be wait-and-see what the wicket does first-up.” Richardson comes in for Jason Behrendorff, Zampa sits out and Nathan Lyon is in.
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