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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 17, Australia vs Pakistan – Who Said What

David Warner was adjudged the Player of the Match for his match-winning century.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The match between Australia and Pakistan at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton turned out to be an exciting one. In the end, the Aussies, led by Aaron Finch, managed to garner their third victory of the ICC World Cup by 41 runs. Moreover, the Men in Yellow moved to the second position of the points table with their third victory. Pakistan kept languishing in the eighth spot.

Australia crumble after an excellent start

Both Australia and Pakistan dropped their specialist spinner and roped in a fast bowler bearing in mind the overcast conditions. While Shaheen Shah Afridi got in place of Shadab Khan, Kane Richardson replaced Adam Zampa. After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the Aussie openers- David Warner and Aaron Finch put their team in the ascendancy with a partnership of 146 in 22.1 overs.

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Finch notched a half-century off 63 balls and was severe on Mohammad Hafeez. Finch scored 82 off 84 before falling prey to Mohammad Amir. Steve Smith had a rare off-day as Hafeez nipped him out for 10. Glenn Maxwell threatened with a 10-ball 20 after which Afridi ripped his poles apart. Warner got to his century off 102 balls, but Afridi prized him out in the 38th over to fizzle out Australia’s momentum.

Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, and Alex Carey scored 23, 18 and 20 respectively, but none could go and play until the very end. Meanwhile, Amir picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket and he conceded only 30 runs in his spell besides churning out a couple of maidens. After Warner’s dismissal, Australia huffed and puffed. The Men in Yellow could only manage 65 runs in their last 11.5 overs.

Pakistan try hard, but to no avail

Pakistan got off to a disastrous start as Pat Cummins nipped put Fakhar Zaman in the third over for a duck. Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam tried to bring back sanity into the proceedings with a stand of 54 runs. Babar smacked seven glorious boundaries to score 30 off 28. Unfortunately, Nathan Coulter-Nile picked him up. Thereafter, Hafeez joined Imam in the middle and they added 80 priceless runs.

Just when the duo was seeming to get the measure of the Aussie attack, Cummins accounted for Imam’s wicket after the left-hander scored 53 off 75 with seven fours. Hafeez looked settled, but part-timer Finch dismissed him. Shoaib Malik had no clue about an in-swinging delivery from Cummins, who picked up his third wicket. Asif Ali also couldn’t make an impact and became Kane Richardson’s first victim.

Hassan Ali came out firing on all cylinders and scored 32 off 15 with three fours and as many sixes. Richardson removed him in the 34th over. Wahab Riaz kept Pakistan’s hopes alive with 45 runs off 39. His knock was laced with two fours and three sixes. Nevertheless, Starc picked up Wahab and then Amir to almost seal the fate of the match. Sarfaraz was the last man to get dismissed at a score of 40.

David Warner, the Player of Tha Match, said

When I got out, we had 70 balls to go. As a batter, you want to bat 50 overs. We should’ve been around 340-350, credit to Pakistan’s bowlers. Their second spells were outstanding and they made it hard for us. It was a used wicket; it was a tad dry and they bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width. There was a bit of movement early on, so I had to be a lot tighter. This century means a lot as a batsman. Some great efforts from Pakistan. Our bowlers were fantastic but it was a great game.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, said

Definitely very disappointing. Lost three wickets in 15 balls from 140/3. To take positives, Hassan Ali batted well, Wahab batted well. Fought in the end but could not finish it off well. Except Amir, others did not bowl well. For me, this was a 270-280 pitch. To win matches, top four has to perform. Made runs but couldn’t convert. To win matches, top four must score runs. India-Pakistan is a big match so we’ll try our level best.

Aaron Finch, the Australian captain, said 

Certainly did put us under pressure. Guys like Hassan and Wahab are good strikers of the ball. Hard to stop when they’re on a roll. Just had to bowl our best ball, whether it’s a length ball or yorker. When you’re slightly off, on a small ground like this, you’re punished. Didn’t bat out our fifty overs which was disappointing. When you go with an extra batter, you back the batsmen to do the job. Probably tried to go a little too hard too early. It was a tough call to leave out Zampa. When you lose your all-rounder to injury, have to choose one or the other. An extra batter or extra bowler. Went with the extra batter today. Backed Maxwell to bowl the overs. Was a tough call on Zampa. Has been bowling nicely.

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