Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs

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Sports desk, June 12: Defending champions Australia advanced to the 2nd slot in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 beating former champions Pakistan by 41 runs at the Cooper Associates County ground in Taunton on Wednesday.Replying to Australia’s 307 runs, Pakistan were all out for 266 runs in 45.4 overs to concede their 2nd defeat to remain at their previous credit of three points playing four matches.

With the day’s feat, Australia secured six points from four matches, including three wins, together with league leader New Zealand, who top the list with all win-run securing six points from straight three matches with a better run rate.

In the day’s match, replying to Australia’s good total, Pakistan made a disastrous start losing their opener Fakhar Zaman (0) for just two runs in 2.1 overs and one down Babar Azam (30) for 56 runs for 2 in 10.2 overs.

After the initial debacle, opener Imam-up–Haq pairing with two down Mohammad Hafeez repaired the early damage contributing 80 runs in the 3rd wicket stand to carry the team total to 136 from 56.

Imam-ul-Haq hit a half century scoring  53 runs off 75 balls featuring seven boundaries while Mohammad Hafezz added 49-ball 46 runs hitting three fours and one six.

Number eight Hasan Ali quick-fired 15-ball 32 runs with the help of three fours and three sixes guiding Pakistan to the right track.

In the 8th wicket partnership, Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed partnering with number-9 Wahab Riaz kept the Pakistani hope alive hammering 64 runs but the dismissal of Wahab Riaz scoring 45 runs off 39 balls featuring two fours and three sixes shattered their all hopes.

Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed made a captain’s knock of 48-ball 40 runs with a boundary.

Pat Cummings grabbed three wickets for 33 runs, MA Starc and KW Richardson took two wickets each conceding 43 and 62 runs respectively.

Earlier, Pakistani speedster Mohammad Amir registered his first five-wicket haul on Wednesday to restrict defending champions Australia to a moderate total of 307 all out despite a century by David Warner (107) in the match.

The Pakistan captain won the toss and opted to bowl first. But David Warner and Australia captain Aaron Finch posted 146 runs in the first wicket stand to set up their good command in the match, which is now the highest first wicket partnership in this World Cup so far.

Amir, who ended up taking five wickets for 30 runs in 10 overs, broke the first wicket stand removing Finch for 82.

However, Warner was firm at another end of the wicket. Before Warner reached his 15th ODI hundred in 37th over, Australia lost two more wickets as Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell were hunted by Mohammad Hafeez and Shaheen Afridi respectively for 10 and 20.

Warner, who scored 107 runs off 111 balls featuring 11 fours and one six and was adjudged man of the match.

After Warner’s dismissal, Australia added only for 65 runs losing all of their remaining wickets.

Amir took two wickets in his last over scalping Alex Carey and Mitchel Starc for 20 and 3 respectively. Carey was trapped by lbw while Starck skied a catch to long off where Shoaib Malik took a regulation catch.

Eventually, Australia ended with 307 all-out in 49 overs. While Amir took five wickets, Shaheen Afridi bagged two for 70 in 10 overs, and Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez bagged one wicket each.

Pakistan’s last match against Sri Lanka was washed out due to persistent rain. Australia, on the other hand, lost their last match against India.