ICC World Cup 2019: Match 17, Australia vs Pakistan, Review – Centurion Warner shadows 5 star Amir as Kangaroos get a gripping win over Men in Green

ICC World Cup 2019: Match 17, Australia vs Pakistan, Review – Centurion Warner shadows 5 star Amir as Kangaroos get a gripping win over Men in Green

This was Australia's 9th consecutive win against Pakistan in this format.

Australian team
Australian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Once again, Australia and Pakistan pulled off a thrilling encounter in cricket’s most elite tournament. The unpredictable and ever-mercurial men in green went very close to completing a run chase which saw a very dramatic oscillatory swing in power balance. Eventually, the five-time champions prevailed in the battle of nerves, securing two important points.

Aaron Finch and David Warner are one of the most highly rated attacking duos in the current generation and they once again vindicated the trust laid on them with a stupendous performance. They had to see off the initial threat from Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, but once the balls started getting old they went bonkers.

Finch, as he always does, didn’t hesitate to go for the big monty on occasions and bullied the bowlers after getting to his fifty. David Warner, who maintained a strike-rate less than 75 in the first three games, was a little more busy in the crease. He kept rotating the strike and smashed the odd boundary to keep the scoring rate above 6.

The incredible duo registered 146 runs for the first wicket before Finch was dismissed for an 84-ball 82. Warner didn’t miss out on three figures like his captain and became only the fourth Aussie to score 15 centuries in this format. Shaheen Afridi chipped in with two important wickets of Warner and Maxwell and capitalizing on those big wickets was Mohammad Amir, who took Aussies by a stunning surprise.

At 233/2, the five-time champions were staring at a score in excess of 350. But with Amir and Wahab Riaz starring in the final 10 overs, they got bowled out for 307 runs. Amir chipped in with his first five-fer in ODIs which saw Pakistan gain real momentum in the game. The Australian middle order collapsed horribly but they did get a competent total towards the end.

Pakistan take it close but Aussie quicks prevent an escape route

Pat Cummins continued his brilliant form and picked up a wicket in his first over. He dismissed Fakhar Zaman for a duck with a ripper, but Pakistan saw through the power play overs courtesy Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam’s sensible approach. Azam was looking good and dealt mostly with boundaries during his stay.

But the 24-year-old fell prey to Nathan Coulter-Nile, leaving their side under a bit of trouble. Mohammad Hafeez looked in fine touch and he went hard on Maxwell. Imam kept battling his way at the other end and completed his half-century. His stay came to an end with some magical work from Cummins and Alex Carey, but the big blow for Pakistan was Hafeez throwing his wicket away to part-timer Aaron Finch.

A middle order collapse followed after that, with Malik getting dismissed for a duck and Asif Ali edging one straight to the keeper off Richardson. Hasan Ali chipped in with a 15-ball 32, which included 2 fours and 3 sixes, but that provided very temporary respite. The Men in Green had just touched the 200-mark before the fast bowler got dismissed.

Wahab Riaz’s outstanding cameo created some jitters in the Australian camp. He smashed a 39-ball 45 with skipper Sarfaraz assisting him from the other end. But Riaz couldn’t handle the wrath of Mitchell Starc and eventually succumbed with Pakistan needing more 44 runs. Starc immediately smashed the Amir’s stumps and Australia didn’t take long to finish the game after that.

Brief Scores

Australia: 307 all out in 49 overs (David Warner 107, Aaron Finch 82; Mohammad Amir 5/30)

Pakistan: 266 all out in 45.4 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 53, Mohammad Hafeez 46, Wahab Riaz 45; Pat Cummins 3/33)

Result: Australia won by 31 runs

Man of the match: David Warner.