Amir's 5 wickets for 30 runs only consolation for Pakistan team
Taunton(Agencies) : Top efforts from Wahab Riaz and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed went in vain as Australia bowled out Pakistan for 266 runs in 45.4 overs, registering an emphatic 41-run victory at County Ground in Taunton on Wednesday. Wahab Riaz was in stupendous touch with the bat. He hit all around the ground and at one time it seemed that Pakistan were going to win the match on an easy note. But, then came Australia's top gun Starc and provided them the game-changing breakthrough. Riaz along with Sarfaraz shared a 64-run stand.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said: "I'm very disappointed. We lost three wickets in 15 balls in the middle order and that's why we lost the match. We conceded too many runs at the start of the innings – except Amir, the other bowlers did not bowl well with the new ball. After 20 overs we came back really hard. For me this was a 270-280 pitch. We will try our best against India." Man of the Match David Warner said: "I wanted to bat the whole innings but credit to the way Pakistan bowled, their second spells were fantastic. Our bowlers were fantastic. It was probably closer than we expected with Wahab freeing his arms at the end, but it was a great game." Earlier, fast bowler Mohammad Amir (5/30) sizzled with a fifer to help Pakistan bowl out Australia for 307, built around David Warner's critic-silencing century in the ICC World Cup. Owing to Amir's excellent bowling, Australia's innings ended with an over to spare. Sent into bat after the coin landed in Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed's favour, Australia were off to a steady start with Warner and skipper Aaron Finch helping the team to 50 in 10 overs. Australia seemed headed for a mammoth total as they were 223 for two in the 34th over but Amir's sensational spell changed the complexion of the game.
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, 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. Sitting pretty at 189 for two in the 29th over, Smith tried to up the ante but in doing so, ended up giving a catch to Asif Ali, who had dropped a sitter in the slips earlier. Glenn Maxwell struck 20 in 10 balls even as Warner reached the three-figure mark when an edge flew between the keeper and the wide slip for a four. He got out shortly after celebrating his century with gusto. The show, then, belonged to Amir.
Finch c Hafeez b Amir 82
Warner c Imam-ul-Haq b Shaheen 107
Smith c Asif b Hafeez 10
Maxwell b Shaheen 20
Marsh c Malik b Amir 23
Khawaja c Riaz b Amir 18
Alex Carey lbw b Amir 20
Coulter-Nile c Sarfaraz b Riaz 2
Cummins c Sarfaraz b Hasan 2
Starc c Malik b Amir 3
Kane Richardson not out 1
Extras: 19 b:0 lb:10 nb:3 w:6
Total: 307-10 (49)
Fall of wickets: 146-1, 189-2, 223-3, 242-4, 277-5, 288-6, 299-7, 302-8, 304-9, 307-10
Bowling: Amir 10-2-30-5 Shaheen Afridi 10-0-70-2 Hasan Ali 10-0-67-1 Wahab Riaz 8-0-44-1 Hafeez 7-0-60-1 Shoaib Malik 4-0-26-0
Imam-ul-Haq c Carey b Cummins 53
Fakhar c Richardson b Cummins 0
Babar Azam c Richardson b Coulter-Nile 30
Hafeez Starc b Finch 46
Sarfaraz Ahmed run out 40
Shoaib Malik c Carey b Cummins 0
Asif Ali c Carey b Richardson 5
Hasan Ali c Khawaja b Richardson 32
Wahab Riaz c Carey b Starc 45
Mohammad Amir b Starc 0
Shaheen Afridi not out 1
Extras: 14 b:0 lb:4 nb:1 w:9
Total: 266 in 45.4 overs
Fall of wickets: 2-1, 56-2, 136-3, 146-4 147-5, 160-6, 200-7, 264-8, 265-9, 266-10
Bowling: Pat Cummins 10-0-34-3 ; Starc 9-1-43-2 Kane Richardson 8.4-0-62-2 Coulter-Nile 9-0-53-1 Glenn Maxwell 7-0-58-0 Aaron Finch 2-0-13-1