Australia secured their second consecutive victory, finally finding their stride in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
David Warner and Mitchell Marsh played pivotal roles, each scoring centuries to lead Australia to a crucial 62-run win over Pakistan at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Australia had a shaky start, losing their first two matches against India and South Africa. However, they bounced back with a win against Sri Lanka and continued their winning streak by defeating Pakistan in Bengaluru. This victory elevated Australia to the fourth position in the World Cup 2023 points table, while Pakistan dropped out of the knockout spots, falling to fifth place.
Australia’s opening partnership was exceptional, with David Warner and Mitchell Marsh aggressively setting the tone for their team. They established Australia’s highest opening wicket partnership in ODI World Cup history, amassing an impressive 259 runs for the first wicket. Mitchell Marsh scored 121 runs off 108 deliveries, hitting 10 boundaries and nine maximums, while David Warner contributed 163 runs off 124 balls.
Despite the strong start, the rest of Australia’s batsmen struggled to make a significant impact as Pakistani bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf curtailed the run rate in the later overs. Australia managed to add only 42 runs while losing six wickets, concluding their innings with a total of 367 for 9.
Shaheen Afridi stood out as the best bowler for Pakistan, claiming a five-wicket haul in ODI World Cups, giving away 54 runs in his 10 overs.
Pakistan’s opening pair, Abdullah Shafique and Imam ul-Haq, put up a solid 134-run partnership and maintained a positive scoring rate. Abdullah Shafique scored 64 runs off 61 balls, including seven boundaries and two sixes, while Imam contributed 71 runs off 70 deliveries. However, Pakistan faced setbacks as Babar Azam was dismissed by Adam Zampa after scoring 18 runs, and Shakeel fell to Stoinis after making 30 runs.
Iftikhar Ahmed threatened the Australian bowlers by smashing three big sixes but was eventually dismissed by Zampa at a crucial stage. Zampa also played a crucial role by catching Rizwan LBW in the 41st over.
Australia managed to dismantle Pakistan’s lower-order, bowling them out for a total of 305 runs in 45.3 overs.
In terms of team changes, Pakistan made only one alteration, bringing in 27-year-old leg-spinner Usama Mir to replace Shadab Khan, who was dropped from the squad. On the other hand, Australia stuck with their unchanged lineup.
Here are the lineups for both teams:
Babar Azam (Captain)
Mohammad Rizwan (Wicket-keeper)
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Pakistan leave out Shadab Khan, bring in Usama Mir; Australia unchanged— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 20, 2023
The first #CWC23 game in Bengaluru is a BIG one – who will win this crucial contest? 🤔https://t.co/wALPkZiZmt | #AUSvPAK pic.twitter.com/vkEXeNf0QT
Josh Inglis (Wicket-keeper)
Pat Cummins (Captain)