Australia sail to smooth 62-run victory over Pakistan

Putting up an all-round performance, Australia Friday defeated Pakistan by 62 runs to clinch their second consecutive victory in the ongoing World Cup.

The Aussies managed to restrict the Green Shirts to 305 runs after posting a colossal 368-run target courtesy of a 259-run stand from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.

Pakistan were off to a great start as their opening duo of Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique had a 134-run partnership — the first time a Pakistani opening pair had a century stand against Australia in a World Cup match.

However, Abdullah was removed after scoring 64 runs as he got a top edge on Marcus Stoinis’ delivery. Soon after the right-handed batter lost his wicket, Imam, too, followed him to the pavilion for 70 runs.

Pakistan were 154-2 in 23.4 overs and were in dire need of a big partnership to get back in the team but their skipper Babar Azam was removed by Adam Zampa just after scoring 18 runs courtesy of an excellent catch by Pat Cummins.

The Green Shirts kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but after the arrival of Iftikhar Ahmed, it looked like Pakistan would get in the game once again as the 33-year-old started hitting boundaries.

Adam Zampa provided the Aussies the much-needed breakthrough and removed Iftikhar and Mohammad Rizwan in back-to-back overs.

The Green Shirts were all out for 305 runs in 45.3 overs.

Batting first, Australia posted 367 runs on the scoreboard, recording the biggest total against Pakistan in the World Cup.

Warner and Marsh formed a 259-run stand and created history as that was Australia’s highest-ever opening stand in World Cup cricket. It was also the first time Pakistan conceded more than a 200-run partnership in World Cup cricket.

The opening stand was also Australia’s second-highest for any wicket ever and the second-highest by any team ever.

Marsh scored 121 runs before Afridi dismissed him while Warner posted 163 on the scoreboard — the highest individual score against Pakistan in World Cup cricket, beating Andrew Symonds’ 143 in 2003.

Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as the 23-year-old bagged five wickets, his second World Cup fifer.

Playing XI

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.

Australia: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (capt), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

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