A David Warner century helped Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs at the ICC Cricket World Cup on Wednesday.
Warner made 107 for his team, as they posted a score of 307 all out after batting first. Mohammad Amir ensured Pakistan remained in with a chance at the halfway point, as he bowled brilliantly to take five wickets for the concession of just 30 runs.
Pakistan were sluggish in response and only really appeared capable of chasing the score down after an eighth-wicket partnership of 64 between Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz. However, Australia kept their composure in the final stages to earn their third win of the competition.
Read on for the updating overall stakes and the top run-scorer standings following a gripping game at Taunton.
Standings (Played, Won, Lost, Points, Net Run Rate)
1. New Zealand: 3, 3, 0, 6, +2.163
2. Australia: 4, 3, 1, 6 +0.570
3. England: 3, 2, 1, 4, +1.307
4. India: 2, 2, 0, 4, +0.539
5. Sri Lanka: 4, 1, 1, 4, -1.517
6. West Indies: 3, 1, 1, 3, +2.054
7. Bangladesh: 4, 1, 2, 3, -0.714
8. Pakistan: 4, 1, 2, 3, -2.412
9. South Africa: 4, 0, 3, 1 -0.952
10. Afghanistan: 3, 0, 3, 0, -1.493
Top Run-Scorers: Runs (Average)
1. Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh: 260 (86.66)
2. David Warner, Australia: 255 (85.00)
3. Jason Roy, England: 215 (71.66)
4. Aaron Finch, Australia: 190 (47.50)
5. Jos Buttler, England: 185 (61.66)
All statistics, per the tournament's official website.
As they've done so often in their one-day careers, Warner and Aaron Finch were on hand to give Australia a brilliant platform to push on from, as the openers put together a fine stand.
They were both at ease at the crease and although they didn't play in an ultra-aggressive manner, when the bad balls came from the Pakistan attack, they were able to put them away.
When Finch did eventually depart for 82, the duo had put together the best partnership of the 2019 World Cup so far:
FlashScore Cricket Commentators @FlashCric
Highest p'ships at the #CWC19: 146 - Finch/Warner v PAK, Taunton 👈👈 142 - Shakib/Mushfiqur v SA, London 137* - Guptill/Munro v SL, Cardiff 130 - Root/Buttler v PAK, Nottingham FOLLOW #AUSvPAK LIVE: https://t.co/NcQ6qr8zB5 #PAKvAUS #CWC19 https://t.co/pgDbJIaIMu
Warner didn't fall before reaching three figures though, as he showcased signs of the form that made him the best batsman in the Indian Premier League recently. His ability to strike boundaries, put bowlers on the back foot and run hard between the wickets makes him so difficult to contain.
The CricViz Analyst noted that on this occasion, Warner had to battle for his runs, as often he was beaten by the Pakistan bowling:
Given they were 146-0 at one point, the Pakistan bowlers would have been delighted that they managed to restrict Australia to 307 all out in the end. That was largely down to the excellent bowling of Amir.
The left-armer not only got rid of Finch and Australia's star man Steve Smith, he ripped through the middle order and got the final wicket of Mitchell Starc. Per ESPN Cricinfo, Pakistan will be pleased they decided to call up the bowler in the end:
In response, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals and at 200 for seven after 33.5 overs, they didn't appear to have much chance of a successful chase. When Riaz joined Sarfaraz at the crease, the dynamic of the game shifted.
The former started to play aggressive shots and managed to notch three sixes to put Australia on the back foot. Sky's Paul Kelso suggested Pakistan had become favourites at this point:
However, the departure of Riaz triggered a late collapse for Pakistan and in the end their innings came to a close in comical fashion, as the captain was run out a long way short of his ground, leaving Pakistan all out on 266.
Thursday's action sees two teams with perfect records go head-to-head, as India will face New Zealand at Trent Bridge.