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12-Jun-2019 17:20:00 GMT
Aus vs Pak - 17th match, Taunton

Warner century leads Australia to victory over spirited Pakistan

Taunton: David Warner scored his first international century since serving a year-long ban for his part in the ball-tampering scandal in Australia's tense 41-run World Cup victory over Pakistan.

Warner, transformed from the man who struggled in Sunday's defeat by India, busied his way to 107.

With captain Aaron Finch also clubbing 82, Australia should have posted more than their 307 all out, only to lose their last six wickets for 30 runs thanks mainly to Mohammad Amir's 5-30.

Facing a more reachable target than they would have once feared, Pakistan were well placed at 136-2 when their own collapse of 4-24 sucked the life from the chase.

Hassan Ali hammered 32 from 15 balls and Wahab Riaz 45 from 39 balls to revive their vociferous fans, but after Wahab was given out caught behind on review off Mitchell Starc, Pakistan were bowled out for 266.

Pakistan stay eighth in the 10-team table and move on to play arch-rivals India at Old Trafford on Sunday knowing that another defeat would go a long way to ending their involvement in the tournament.

Australia join New Zealand at the top on six points, having played a game more than the Kiwis.

Brief scores:
Australia 307 (Warner 107, Finch 82, Amir 5-30) beat Pakistan 266 (Imam 53, Hafeez 46, Cummins 3-33) by 41 runs

Not only was it a relief for cricket to return after two days of abandonments, it returned with a magnificent contest that fluctuated throughout.

Despite the grey and chilly conditions, this was a wonderful spectacle. The intimate setting is unique for a tournament mainly being played at large arenas and the vocal spectators filled the boutique venue with noise.

The match itself - played on a juicy surface that offered encouragement for the pace bowlers - was rarely lacking in entertainment.

The early Australia charge was helped by some poor bowling and fielding, with Pakistan's resurgence first led by Amir and followed up by a third-wicket stand of 80 between Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez.

After Imam gloved Pat Cummins behind, the Pakistan implosion left the crowd silent, only for raucous hope to return through the hitting of Hassan and Wahab.

Just as Australia were getting desperate, Starc asked for a review against a hopping Wahab. It detected the faintest edge and, eight balls later, the game was over.

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