Australia overtook Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup rankings with an impressive 62-run win in Bengaluru. Hundreds from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh laid the foundation for a record opening partnership of 259 for a total of 367 for nine and a win that puts Australia in contention for a semi-final place after defeats to India and South Africa.
Warner’s 163 from 124 balls, his fifth World Cup century and highest individual score of the tournament, came after he was reduced to 10 when Usama Mir missed a steeling catch.
Marsh celebrated his 32nd birthday with a second one-day international hundred – 121 from 108 deliveries. Their partnership surpassed Australia’s previous best opening rate of 183 at a World Cup and was the second highest in the history of the competition.
They looked set for a total of over 400, but Marcus Stoinis (21) and Josh Inglis (13) were the only other batters to reach double figures as Pakistan took wickets at regular intervals from the 34th onwards. Shaheen Afridi finished the game with figures of five for 54 from his 10 overs and Haris Rauf contributed three wickets.
Pakistan responded with their first century opening World Cup partnership since 2015 – 134 between Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq. Shafique and Imam were given life on 27 and 48 respectively as substitute fielder Sean Abbott and captain Pat Cummins had presentable chances.
Stoinis eventually removed Shafique (64) and Imam (70) before Adam Zampa took the crucial wicket of their captain Babar Azam for 18.
Mohammad Rizwan, with 46 off 40 balls and some powerful knocks from Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed, gave Pakistan hope of achieving a record World Cup run. But Zampa took four for 53 and Australia turned the screws to dismiss Pakistan for 305 in 45.3 overs and move to fourth place in the table.
“We have set standards in the last two games and we need to maintain them,” Cummins told Sky Sports. “That was a great win. That was right from (Warner and Marsh), it set the tone for how we really want to play our cricket. They won the game with power play odds of 80 and that’s all you could ask for. Batting 25 to 30 overs was a big thing. The stadium and the pitch are difficult to bowl at times but we stuck with it. We stayed aggressive and used the bouncers well.”
Pakistan are now outside the all-important top four and trail Australia in net run rate after consecutive defeats. Captain Babar said: “We didn’t get it done and when you drop catches like David Warner, they won’t spare you. “We started well at the top of the order but then we had small partnerships in the midfield and no big partnerships .”