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Australia give Pakistan reality check

Taunton: David Warner was not his usual destructive self but effective nevertheless, his first international century since completing the ball-tampering ban setting up Australia’s 41-run win over Pakistan in the World Cup here Wednesday.
This defeat came a day after Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed sounded much confident regarding their game against Australia having beaten tournament favourite England already.
“We have beaten England and that has given us a lot of positives. We will go with the aggressive approach that we showed against England,” said Sarfaraz.
Australia looked set for a total in excess of 350 while Warner and captain Aaron Finch (82) were at the crease, but Mohammad Amir (5/30) staged a grand comeback with his best ODI bowling figures to bowl their opponents out for 307.
Pakistan’s innings ended at 266 in 45.4 overs overs but not before the duo of Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz gave the Australians a scare with a rearguard action that revived their hopes for a while.
Pakistan were at one stage tottering at 160 for six in the 30th over. Riaz smashed 45 off 39 balls with two fours and three sixes, while Sarfaraz made 40 off 48.
The side’s top-scorer though was opener Imam-ul-Haq (53), Mohammad Hafeez contributed 46 while Hasan Ali blazed away to 32 off only 15 balls before Mitchell Starc closed out the game at the death. Earlier, sent into bat after the coin landed in Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s favour, Australia were off to a steady start with Warner and Finch helping them to 50 in 10 overs.
Amir started with a maiden and going with only four mainline bowlers, Australia knew they needed to score big to put Pakistan under pressure.
The Aussies broke free against Shaheen Afridi, with Finch hitting him over the deep square leg fence for a six and Warner employing the pull shot to get a four. As Australia looked for quick runs, Amir showed his class by bowling another maiden over.
Apart from the singles and twos, both managed to find the ropes occasionally, before Finch carted Mohammad Hafeez for 16 runs with the help of a six and two boundaries.
After a stand that yielded 146 runs in 22.1 overs, Amir provided Pakistan the much-needed breakthrough when he had Finch hitting one high up in the air towards extra cover.
Warner hit Hasan Ali for two consecutive fours, and then, there was a classy cover drive by Steve Smith. A couple of quiet overs was followed by a productive one from Australia’s point of view, with Warner smashing Shoaib Malik for a six over long-on and a four to pick 15 runs.
Brief Scores: Australia: 307 all out in 49 overs (David Warner 107, Aaron Finch 82; Mohammed Amir 5/30); Pakistan: 266 all out in 45.4 overs (Imam ul-Haq 53, Mohammed Hafeez 46, Wahab Riaz 45, Sarfaraz Ahmed 40; Pat Cummins 3/33, Mitchell Starc 2/43, Kane Richardson 2/62) (Agencies)

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