David Warner smashed his first international century since returning from a ball-tampering ban to lay the foundations for Australia’s convincing 41-run World Cup win over Pakistan.
The left-handed opener, who served a 12-month suspension for his part in the sandpaper scandal against South Africa in March 2018, hit 107 off 111 balls as his side finished 307 all out.
Mohammad Amir’s five for 30 and Imam-ul-Haq’s assured half-century threatened to derail the defending champions’ bid to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat to India.
But Pakistan’s chase eventually fell well short on 266 all out with 26 balls remaining, partly due to Pat Cummins’ three for 33.
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Mohammad Hafeez conjured Pakistan’s first six of the afternoon in some style. He connected perfectly with Glenn Maxwell’s delivery in the 18th over, battering the ball over long-on and into the stands to the delight of his country’s sizeable contingent of enthusiastic fans.
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There was no disguising Warner’s delight as he smashed his way to a first international ton since returning from his 12-month suspension. The 32-year-old gleefully leapt to punch the air after bringing up his century by edging Shaheen Afridi for four at the start of the 36th over. He has now produced a knock of 50 or more in three of Australia’s four World Cup matches.
Australia’s third victory from four matches was built on the highest partnership of the tournament so far. Captain Aaron Finch and Warner shared a 147-run opening-wicket stand, surpassing the total reached by Bangladesh duo Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in their victory over South Africa on June 2. Meanwhile, Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir became the competition’s top wicket taker with 10 after finishing with figures of five for 30.
With an unprecedented three matches of the World Cup already being abandoned because of heavy summer showers, the International Cricket Council would have been desperate for some much-needed sunshine. It was cold, grey and cloudy for most of the day in Somerset but, thankfully, it remained dry long enough for the match to be completed.
India v New Zealand, Trent Bridge (Thursday, 10.30am)