AUSTRALIA: 307/10 all out (Warner 107, Amir 5/30)
You can follow our complete World Cup coverage here.
10.55 pm: That will be all from us... felt good to have a full match at the World Cup didn’t it? On Thursday, it will be India vs New Zealand... and the forecast is not great. Fingers crossed, though.
Aaron Finch: It’s always tough when you’ve got guys like Hasan and Wahab coming out and swinging. When they get on a roll it can be tough to stop. We had to bowl our best ball, yorker or length, if your execution is off you go out of the ground. Disappointing we didn’t bat out 50 overs, when you go in with an extra better. We probably tried to go too hard too early and ended up 20-30 runs short. It was a tough call to leave [Zampa out]. That’s the beauty of having an all-rounder, we had to take a call to either add an extra batter or a bowler. We decided to go with an extra batsman.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: Definitely, very disappointing. We lost 3 wickets in 15-odd ball from 140/2 (136, actually).. that is why we lost the match. We conceded too many runs in the first 30 overs. Except Amir... but we came back well in the last 20 overs. It was a 280 pitch. The top four must score big for us to win matches.
David Warner, player of the match for his century: When I got out we had 70 balls to go, as the in-batter you want to bat 50 overs, we should have been around 340-50. redit to Pakistan, their second spells were fantastic, they hit the right lengths and made it hard for us to hit down the ground. It was a used wicket and a touch dry, they bowled very straight lines, gave me no width. They probably got closer than we expected but it was a great game.”
Kevin Pietersen: “Imagine being Pakistan’s coach!”
AUSTRALIA WIN BY 41 RUNS: The cricketing cliche goes that Pakistan can go from fantastic to head-scratching from match to match but they did all that (a few times over) in one game. Amir’s brilliance helped Pakistan reduce Australia to 307 all out when 350-plus seemed inevitable. Then the chase was under control before Hafeez and Imam threw their wickets away. Wahab and Safaraz threatened to pull off a miracle at the end, but Mitchell Starc, Destroyer of Tails, had his say.
PAKISTAN 266 all out in 45.4 overs - AUSTRALIA WIN BY 41 runs
A tame end to a thrilling match. Pakistan are all out as Safaraz, who should have been batting in this over, is run out at the non-striker’s end by an alert Maxwell. Sums up the night for Pakistan really, as they swung from brilliant to the bizarre.
After 45 overs, Pakistan 266/9 - need 42 off 30 balls
Shaheen just about survives two balls off Starc and bizarrely takes a single off the last ball. Oh dear. Richardson comes on from the other end and Australia might just finish it off in this over.
After 44.4 overs, Pakistan 265/9 - STARC AGAIN!
Bouncer, bouncer, full.... fast.... AMIR BOWLED! Starc had gone wicket-less till now and he now comes into his final spell and takes two in one over. What a bowler.
After 44.2 overs, Pakistan 264/8 - WHAT A REVIEW! With one second left on the DRS clock!
Wahab looks to have been beaten by a short ball from Starc but there is half an appeal from everyone, no one seems sure. Finch decides to go for a review with ONE SECOND left. And there is an edge, would you believe it! Wahab walks back.
After 44 overs, Pakistan 263/7 – Sarfaraz 39, Wahab 45
Wahab starts off with a double, putting in a dive to complete the second run. Looks like Sarfaraz will just rotate strike and Wahab will look for the shots. Decent over from Richardson, all told, as he concedes just 6 runs. Finch said at the toss that Richardson is being picked because of what he offers at the death. That is a good start... he has 2 more overs. As does Starc, who comes on for his 9th.
After 43 overs, Pakistan 257/7 – Sarfaraz 37, Wahab 41
More smart cricket from the Pakistan batsmen. Play out the Starc over without risks. Every single is being cheered. Every dot ball is being cheered. Taunton is green at the moment, and the Pakistan fans are making themselves heard. Pakistan need 51 off 42 balls... Richardson comes back into the attack.
10.10 pm: Starc is back on... Finch is getting a bit desperate now you’d think. Starc’s three overs apart, he has very little quality left in the bowling at the moment. Wahab and Sarfaraz should know that.
After 42 overs, Pakistan 254/7 – Sarfaraz 36, Wahab 39
SIXXX! Wahab is on fire at the moment. He has overtake n Sarfaraz, and does so with a six over square leg off NCN. The fifty-run partnership has come up too. Pakistan have turned the tables around in the last few overs. The crowd is cheering for every single run. 250 comes up too. 54 needed off 48 balls. And potentially one more Maxwell over left.
Don’t go anywhere folks.
After 41 overs, Pakistan 244/7 – Sarfaraz 34, Wahab 31
Wahab Riaz loves stepping against the Aussies doesn’t he? A streaky four to start the Maxwell over as a bottom-edge somehow evades the stumps. Then, gets one in the slot, swings it over long on for a six. Almost hits a four off the next ball, but for great work by NCN at deep midwicket. Few more attempted big hits in the over but Australia keep the batsmen to singles. Still, a big over. The crowd are on their feet. 64 needed off 54 balls. Game is very much on, folks.
After 40 overs, Pakistan 230/7 – Sarfaraz 32, Wahab 19
There has not been too much of that in display today, but this is smart cricket by Pakistan. Cummins is bowling his last over and Wahab just plays it out, after Sarfaraz took a single off the first ball. Cummins finishes with superb figures of 3/33 in 10 overs.
If Pakistan are doing their calculations right, there are still 2 overs left for the fifth bowler quota for Aussies. Maxwell would be likely to bowl those... yes, he comes on as we speak. Here’s where Pakistan can launch.
After 39 overs, Pakistan 228/7 – Sarfaraz 31, Wahab 18
SIX! It was about time Wahab connected with that slog over the leg side. Short ball from NCN, Wahab latches on to it in a flash and sends one soaring over square leg. Hit with disdain. Pakistan need 80 off 66 balls. 11-run over as Pakistan keep themselves just about alive in this match.
After 38 overs, Pakistan 217/7 – Sarfaraz 29, Wahab 9
Cummins completes his 9th over with just three singles in it. Wahab goes for a wild heave off the last ball but the change of pace deceives him. Aussies well and truly on top at the moment, victory seems inevitable barring a miracle.
NCN comes back from the other end.
After 37 overs, Pakistan 214/7 – Sarfaraz 27, Wahab 8
Oh what an effort Steve Smith! The former Aussie captain puts in a stunning dive at wide slip as Starc (returning for another spell) gets Wahab to play a wild shot. The edge was travelling at some pace but Smith almost puts in a stunning dive to grab a stunner. Not to be, the ball rolls to third man for four.
After 36 overs, Pakistan 207/7 – Sarfaraz 25, Wahab 3
Cummins returns for his 3rd spell as Australia perhaps seek a quick end to this match. Just two runs off that over. Even so, the required rate is just above 7. Goes to show Pakistan have never really behind the eight-ball, but it is the loss of wickets that has derailed their run-chase.
After 35 overs, Pakistan 205/7 – Sarfaraz 24, Wahab 2
Mitchell Starc returns to the attack and bowls a decent over, five runs come from it. Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed might have to start taking some risks if his team has any chance.
After 33.5 overs, Pakistan 200/7 – HASSAN ALI IS DISMISSED!
The cameo is over! Hassan Ali goes for a pull and gets a top-edge, Usman Khawaja takes a comfortable catch at fine-leg. Kane Richardson gets his second wicket. Hassan has to walk back for an entertaining 32 off 15. Wahab Riaz is the new man at the crease for Pakistan.
After 33.4 overs, Pakistan 200/6 – Sarfaraz 32, Hassan 21
Wow, Hassan Ali with a seriously good on-the-rise drive through covers and mid-off. That would’ve made Babar Azam proud. The right-hander then slaps one up-and-over cover for another boundary.
After 33 overs, Pakistan 191/6 – Sarfaraz 20, Hassan 24
SIX! Hassan Ali is putting on a bit of a show! Glenn Maxwell pitches it slightly short and the right-hander pulls it over long-on for a maximum. He’s using the long handle superbly. Pakistan need 117 off 102.
After 32 overs, Pakistan 182/6 – Sarfaraz 18, Hassan 17
Back-to-back sixes! Remarkable shots from Hassan Ali! Kane Richardson bangs it in and the right-hander pulls it all the way. He then anticipates the full delivery and slogs it straight back. Good over for Pakistan (for whatever it’s worth), 14 runs from it.
After 31 overs, Pakistan 168/6 – Sarfaraz 17, Hassan 5
Some much-needed runs for Pakistan. Hassan Ali cuts one from Glenn Maxwell fine and picks up a boundary. Eight runs from that over.
After 30 overs, Pakistan 160/6 - ASIF ALI DISMISSED!
WICKET! Annd Pakistan have lost another one. This time Asif Ali gets caught-behind to a Kane Richardson delivery that got some extra bounce. It was bowled cross-seam and the right-hander tried to tap it down to third-man. He walks back for 5 off 8.
After 29 overs, Pakistan 155/5 - Safaraz 11, Asif 4
Finch is getting another good over in as Pakistan try to steady ship with Sarfaraz and Asif Ali.
Pakistan have gone for 136/2 to 147/5. The required rate has shot up to 7.
After 28 overs, Pakistan 149/5 - MALIK DISMISSED!
Oh dear, Pakistan are unravelling at Taunton. This is another peach from Cummins, and Shoaib Malik is cut into half. An inside edge is taken one-handed by Carey. Genuine seam moment there. Cummins has turned this match around for Australia. Starts off with a superb delivery to Asif as well. Earlier in the over, Malik could have been run out on 0 off 0 balls had Warner hit the stumps direct. Just three runs in that over and a wicket.
Cummins has figures of 3/26 at the moment.
After 27 overs, Pakistan 146/4 - FINCH STRIKES, HAFEEZ GONE!
Oh dear, oh dear. That’s a gift to the Aussies! What a move by the captain to bring himself on, though. After that half chance off Sarfaraz, Hafeez now hits a full toss straight to Starc at deep midwicket. He cannot quite believe what has happened, no one can ,to be honest. Australia back on top!
After 26.2 overs, Pakistan 143/3: CHANCE MISSED! Finch, who gets hit for a four off the first ball, almost has his counterpart stumped off the second ball. Carey doesn’t gather properly and Sarfaraz gets back in time. Carey dropped a catch with Pandya on 0 too remember? That did not turn out well for him.
After 26 overs, Pakistan 139/3 - IMAM UL HAQ DISMISSED!
What a soft way to lose your wicket after a solid innings. Short ball down the leg side from Cummins and Imam gloves it to Carey. And as we were saying, Cummins deservedly gets the breakthrough as Australia get a look into the flimsy middle order. Sarfaraz is out to bat. He almost finds gully with a lofted shot. Hands in the air for Aussies!
After 25 overs, Pakistan 136/2 - Imam 53, Hafeez 44
FIFTY FOR IMAM-UL-HAQ! A lovely lofted off drive for four off NCN. Solid innings this has been, but Pakistan would want him to go on and score a big one.
A moment of slapstick humour in that over as Cummins trousers slip down as he put in a superb dive to prevent a boundary at third man, gets up, pulls his pants up and sends in a bullet throw. The Pakistan crowd at that corner letting him have an earful over it, cheering him when the ball came to him next.
After 24 overs, Pakistan 128/2 - Imam 48, Hafeez 41
Cummins continues to work the angle well against Imam, like he did in the opening spell. As much as Starc gets all the attention in this bowling attack, Cummins has been the best bowler in this attack. A couple of plays and misses by Imam in that over.
After 23 overs, Pakistan 126/2 - Imam 47, Hafeez 40
Both batsmen are into their 40s now, rotating the strike off NCN’s over. You could sense the happiness in Rameez Raja’s voice as he praises this duo for playing sensible cricket. Australia in a bit of bother at the moment, need a breakthrough from somewhere.
Cummins replaces Starc... required rate is a very manageable 6.78 at the moment.
After 22 overs, Pakistan 121/2 - Imam 45, Hafeez 37
If you thought Pakistan would want to just play out Starc, Imam has other ideas. Like any good batsman, the moment he saw a bad ball (short and wide), he smashes one past point for four. Smart batting. Risk-free six runs in that over.
After 21 overs, Pakistan 115/2 - Imam 40, Hafeez 36
What should have been a good tight over by NCN is spoiled a bit by two wides. Imam goes into the 40s, it’s been a patient yet crucial knock from the opener. He can and needs to bat long.
After 20 overs, Pakistan 110/2 - Imam 39, Hafeez 34
An attacking move from Finch to bring back Starc into the attack and he bowls a tight over to concede just three runs, one of them a wide. But Pakistan would be happy to see him off at the moment.
After 19 overs, Pakistan 107/2 - Imam 38, Hafeez 33
100 comes up in the 19th over for Pakistan as Richardson concedes four singles to restart after the drinks break. Imam then pounces on a short ball outside off and smacks it through point for four. A wide off the next ball brings up the fifty-run partnership which has been dominated by Hafeez. Australia must be feeling a bit nervous as things stand.
After 18 overs, Pakistan 97/2 - Imam 31, Hafeez 31 (DRINKS)
BIG OVER FOR PAKISTAN! Hafeez understands that Pakistan cannot let Maxwell rush through his 10 overs. With Imam, he would have to go against the spin. So Hafeez better placed to take the attack to Australia, and he does so brilliantly with a four through square (slog sweep) and a six down the ground after that.
After 17 overs, Pakistan 83/2 - Imam 30, Hafeez 18
Hafeez releases the pressure with a punch through covers for four off Kane Richardson. 7 runs from that over. Required rate is getting up close to 7 but Pakistan won’t mind that if they don’t lose wickets.
After 16 overs, Pakistan 76/2 - Imam 29, Hafeez 12
Good comeback over from Maxwell after being hit for a boundary off the last ball off his previous. Just two runs off it. Good stump-to-stump bowling from the off-spinner who has to bowl all 10 overs today, if Finch doesn’t feel like using Smith.
After 15 overs, Pakistan 74/2 - Imam 28, Hafeez 11
NCN is in the middle of a good spell at the moment. Finishes that over with an absolute peach to Hafeez... a length ball, shaping away after hitting the deck. Beaten comfortably.
After 14 overs, Pakistan 69/2 - Imam 26, Hafeez 8
Hafeez played the England spinners with aggression during his match-winning 84 and he shows a spark of that against Maxwell, dancing down and hitting a flashy cover drive. 7 runs from that Maxwell over.
After 13 overs, Pakistan 62/2 - Imam 24, Hafeez 2
Another solid over by NCN. Australia have a packed off-side field for Imam and working the angle at the moment. This partnership needs to go into three figures for Pakistan to have a chance you’d think.
After 12 overs, Pakistan 60/2 - Imam 23, Hafeez 2
Time for Maxwell and his part-time off-spin and he concedes just four runs off his first over.
After 11 overs, Pakistan 56/2 - AZAM GONE! Big wicket.
Oh, dear! Babar Azam has thrown his wicket away. Nathan Coulter-Nile bowls a bouncer, the right-hander goes for a pull and the top-edge goes straight to fine-leg. Big setback for Pakistan.
Babar’s innings: 28 balls faced. 7 boundaries. 2 singles. Out for 30. If there was an award for the prettiest 30 in history of cricket, this will be up there.
After 10 overs, Pakistan 51/1 - Imam 20, Azam 26
Coulter-Nile from the other end and he manages to square Azam up as well but the soft hands of Pakistan No 3 is ensuring the edges are not carrying. Short of length seems to be the way to go for Aussies at the moment. NCN strays on the pads and Imam helps himself to an easy four.
Richardson continues from the other end, and it ends with ANOTHER BOUNDARY for Babar. On his pads, wrist comes into play as he flicks one past short-fine. The left-right combo is proving tough to bowl for the Aussie bowlers. Superb start for Pakistan now after losing Zaman early.
After 8 overs, Pakistan 40/1 - Imam 18, Azam 21
Finch replaces Starc with Richardson but the boundaries keep flowing. Babar flicks one off his hips past short-fine. A couple of singles in that over too, lo and behold! This is good cricket from Pakistan at the moment, will they be able to keep up this momentum?
After 6 overs, Pakistan 34/1 - Imam 17, Azam 16
Babar Azam has moved to 16, all runs coming off boundaries. Another stunning cover drive. That forces Cummins to shorten his length and he squares up Azam a couple of times. Last 18 balls, 6 boundaries and 12 dot balls for Pakistan.
After 6 overs, Pakistan 30/1 - Imam 17, Azam 12
Last 12 balls, 5 boundaries and 7 dot balls for Pakistan! It’s pretty much all or nothing at the moment for Pakistan. Binary scoring, except 4s replacing 1s. Three in that one over for Imam off Starc. The first one streaky, as he edges a bouncer behind the stumps. Nothing streaky about the next two, flicked one through midwicket and then down fine leg.
Australia under pressure now...
After 5 overs, Pakistan 18/1 - Imam 5, Azam 12
Two glorious boundaries for Babar Azam in that over! You could hear Clarke going “wow” in the background in the commentary box when they show the replays for the second boundary. Both good length balls, both driven with class. The Pakistan crowd are having a ball at the moment.
After 4 overs, Pakistan 10/1 - Imam 5, Azam 4
Counter-punch from Imam! The bouncer-full ball combo from Starc is played brilliantly by the Pakistan opener. The bouncer, helmet-high, is pulled over square leg for four with disdain. The full-ball is defended well. Imam’s compact technique in full view at the moment.
After 3 overs, Pakistan 6/1 - ZAMAN GONE!
WICKET! Australia strike early! Pat Cummins gets one to angle away from Fakhar Zaman, the left-hander goes for a cut but the edge goes straight to third-man where Kane Richardson takes a good catch. Not the start Pakistan were hoping for. Babar Azam comes in and there is a short leg straight away. Aggression from Aussies. Azam gets going with a four over point, slashed uppishly. But safe all the way.
After 2 overs, Pakistan 2/0 - Imam 1, Zaman 0
Maiden over from Starc! Some serious pace already from Starc. Clarke, on air, feels he is just a touch shorter than he should be as a couple of deliveries beat Imam outside off stump. Finishes the over with the perfect delivery, that zips through Imam and through to the keeper.
After 1 over, Pakistan 2/0 - Imam 1, Zaman 0
After that no-ball to start the over (which should not have been called), Cummins comes back with some serious pace. An absolute peach to finish the over to Fakhar, as the ball angles away and beats him all ends up. Top first over.
Starc from the other end...
7.05 pm: Right, here we go. Pat Cummins with the new ball, and he starts off with a no-ball.... which is a wrong call. Returns with a quick bouncer at Imam for the free hit which is a dot ball. Eventful start.
7.01 pm: Another impressive stat about that Amir spell
David Warner: I think I left a few [runs] out there to be honest. Getting out with 70 balls to go was disappointing. Amir bowled really well, especially coming here & bowling a Test line & length was very brave. He got his rewards for it. They started off bowling short, our bowlers should keep it up there.
6.43 pm: This group fixture at southwest county Somerset’s headquarters saw Mohammad Amir back at the ground where he made his return to first-class cricket in England three years ago. And now on his return to the venue he has taken his first career ODI five-for. Pakistan cricket continues to provide us the entertainment wherever they go.
INNINGS BREAK: Mohammad Amir finishes with figures of 5/30 from his 10 overs. This has been an absolutely sensational effort from the left-arm pacer. And at the venue where he made his first-class comeback after the ban for spot-fixing. A memorable outing at a memorable venue.
After 49 overs, Australia 307 all out - FIVE-WICKET HAUL FOR MOHAMMAD AMIR!
MOHAMMAD AMIR, WHAT A BOWLER! Can you imagine he was not in the original squad for this World Cup? He has overcome his poor pre-tournament form in some style. A Stunning yorker to Carey and the Aussie batsman plays all around it. PLUMB IN FRONT. He reviews it anyway, and DRS Confirms it. The Pakistan contingent is having a grand old time at Taunton now. Even the fielding has picked up as Shaheen produces a superb effort at fine leg. Off the last ball, Starc hits one to the fielder at long on. PAKISTAN HAVE TURNED IT AROUND!
After 48 overs, Australia 302/8 - CUMMINS GONE!
Australia are crumbling, Hassan Ali has his first wicket with a ripping bouncer at Cummins who awkwardly edges one to the ‘keeper. No celebration at all from the man who owned the Champions Trophy with his celebrations, because he has leaked today. But finishes with a stunning last over! Just 2 runs and a wicket in that over.
After 47 overs, Australia 300/7 - Carey 18, Cummins 1
WICKET! A catch is finally taken off Wahab Riaz’s bowling as he gets much-deserved wicket! He and Amir have got the crowd going! Nathan Coulter-Nile throws the kitchen sink at a length ball but only manages an inside edge. Sarfaraz Ahmed makes no mistake behind the stumps. 300 comes up later in the over for Australia but they are in danger of finishing with an under-par score.
After 46 overs, Australia 298/6 - Carey 17, Coulter-Nile 2
A boundary for Carey in that over as he pulls a short ball by Hassan Ali into the gap on the leg side. But 7 in an over is not bad at this stage. Wahab comes on from the other end.
After 45 overs, Australia 291/6 - Carey 11, Coulter-Nile 1
WICKET! Mohammad Amir is turning it on! One of the best bowling efforts this World Cup as he goes level at the top of the chart of wicket-takers along with Lockie Ferguson. Shaun Marsh tries to slog it but mis-times it, Shoaib Malik completes the catch at long-on. Amir gets his third. Australia are throwing it away at the death.
Amir’s figures at the moment: 9-2-25-3!
After 44 overs, Australia 286/5 - Marsh 22, Carey 8
Carey, who was superb against India in a losing cause, gets going with a boundary through mid-off. A lovely cover drive as he picked up a slower ball early from Hassan Ali. It spoils what was otherwise a good over for Pakistan.
After 43 overs, Australia 278/5 - KHAWAJA GONE!
AMIR STRIKES AGAIN! For the second time in this match, Amir strikes in the first ball of a new spell. A fullish ball, Khawja tries to clear mid-off but cannot get any elevation. Finds Wahab Riaz, who takes a tumbling catch. Alex Carey is the new batsman for Australia.
Amir’s figures at the moment: 8-2-20-2!
After 42 overs, Australia 277/4 - Marsh 21, Khawaja 18
Hassan Ali comes on and bowls a poor ball on Khawaja’s pads that he helps it away fine for a four. Without breaking a sweat, 8 runs in that over for Australia.
After 41 overs, Australia 269/4 - Marsh 20, Khawaja 13
Shake of the head from Wahab, shake of the head from Sarfaraz. A big over for Australia. Khawaja slaps one over mid on and then guides one fine towards third man for two boundaries. Then a full toss is driven through mid-off by Marsh. Three boundaries in one over. Australia on the charge.
After 40 overs, Australia 256/4 - Marsh 16, Khawaja 4
Then again, if Pakistan continue to field like a club cricket side, Australia can score 100 with whoever is at the crease. Horrendous fielding at midoff by Malik not for the first time today as he lets an offdrive through. Marsh picks up a boundary.
After 39 overs, Australia 247/4 - Marsh 9, Khawaja 2
With 11 overs to go in the innings, Marsh and Khawaja is not exactly the ideal partnership for Australia at the moment. Just four runs off that Wahab over. If Australia don’t get to 330-340, they will be very disappointed.
After 38 overs, Australia 243/4 - WARNER GONE!
Stop the press, Pakistan have taken a catch! Afridi goes full and wide for Warner, he goes for a big shot over cover on the offside but the bat turns in his hand. The skier is taken well by Imam. Shaheen Afridi has his second wicket. The Aussie opener walks back for 107 off 111.
And interestingly, Khawaja walks in. Not quite the ideal chance for him. Carey should have come in perhaps?
5.40 pm: This fan’s reaction to that dropped catch is an emotion.
After 37 overs, Australia 239/3 - WARNER DROPPED!
Shot ball from Wahab Riaz and a catch dropped by a fielder named Ali in a World Cup match against Australia. Are we still in 2015? Asif Ali is having a day to forget. This is the second sitter he has put down as Warner upper cut one to straight to him at third man. One cannot help but feel so bad for Asif Ali. As if he doesn’t have enough going on in his life, is having a nightmare day on the field.
After 36 overs, Australia 235/3 - WARNER CELEBRATES!
CENTURY FOR DAVID WARNER! A superb delivery from Shaheen Afridi gets the outside edge of Warner’s bat, there is a wide slip in place but the ball goes between that fielder and the keeper. Streaky, but he doesn’t care. He leaps in celebration. A typical way to celebrate what has been a fighting century for a man under pressure for more than one reason. What a batsman.
After 35 overs, Australia 228/3
Good over from Hafeez, as he concedes just four runs. Warner is now one hit away from a century, batting on 97.
After 34 overs, Australia 224/3 - MAXWELL GONE!
ANOTHER BOWLING CHANGE WORKS! Shaheen comes back into the attack and concedes a boundary off the first ball, as Warner’s outside edge takes him to 94. But with Maxwell back on strike, Sarfaraz decides to attack with a slip. The Aussie power-hitter goes for a big heave over mid-on, his feet moving nowhere. The ball crashes into the middle stump!! Big breakthrough for the youngster and he is over the moon!
(Correction: The over-count was wrong in the last couple of updates, it has been corrected now)
After 33 overs, Australia 218/2 - Warner 90, Maxwell 20 _ BIG OVER!
DRINKS: And Pakistan desperately need to reset. Mr. Big Show is up and running. Hafeez’s spin is just the perfect way for Maxwell to get going early and he hits two fours down the leg side and follows that up with a six over long off. Too easy, but impressive stroke-making nonetheless.
After 32 overs, Australia 202/2 - Warner 89, Maxwell 5
Oddly, and much to the chagrin of Waqar Younis and Rameez Raja on air, the part-time spinners continue to operate in tandem at the moment. They have a point, Pakistan could have used Wahab to test Maxwell early. 200 comes up in the 32nd over. 11 runs without too much risk in the last couple of overs...Pakistan are letting Maxwell get his eye in.
After 30 overs, Australia 191/2 - Warner 83, Maxwell 0
Malik almost bowls a maiden over to Warner, but the opener takes a single off the last ball. Australia perhaps don’t want to take a risk now with a strong score after 30 overs. Double this, and they will have a massive 382 on board.
After 29 overs, Australia 190/2 - SMITH GONE!
WICKET! And out of nowhere, another breakthrough. Hafeez is brought back into the attack and it’s another good bowling change by the Pakistan captain. Smith comes down the track and goes for the big shot over the leg side, but the leading edge is taken smartly by Asif Ali, running to his left from mid-off. After the Finch drop early on, this must be a relief for Asif Ali.
Maxwell comes in. Prepare for more entertainment.
After 28 overs, Australia 187/1 - Warner 80, Smith 9 (BIG OVER!)
Criminal from Malik, to overstep and provide Warner a free hit. The Australian opener hits a big six over long on to make the most of it. The over ends with another overthrow! Pakistan fans must be cringing at this display so far whereever they are watching from. Amir (and to a lesser extent Wahab) have been the only shining lights. 15 runs from that Malik over.
After 27 overs, Australia 172/1 - Warner 67, Smith 8
More wry smiling from Warner to Amir. The Pakistan pacer beats Warner’s outside edge again before bowling a bouncer that forces Warner to sway away at the last minute. And then an overthrow from Pakistan results in a cheap extra run for Australia. Its been Amir vs Australia today, would be nice if his teammates could join him.
Mohammad Amir’s figures: 7-2-19-1
After 26 overs, Australia 169/1 - Warner 64, Smith 8
Shoaib Malik comes on. With Hafeez leaking runs in his four overs, Pakistan would be hoping for Malik to bowl tight six overs. Good first over from Malik, conceding four singles. Sarfaraz would take that in a heartbeat.
After 25 overs, Australia 165/1 - Warner 62, Smith 6
REVIEW LOST: Horrendous, horrendous review. Sarfaraz Ahmed is not keen at all to review this LBW call against Warner but seems to have been convinced by Amir (or one of the fielders) and goes for it in the nick of time. The ball is hitting Warner *WAY* outside off stump. Amir finishes the over with another unplayable delivery that beats Warner, who can only smile back at the bowler.
After 24 overs, Australia 163/1 - Warner 61, Smith 5
Peak Pakistan on display. Brilliant one moment, abject the next. After that stunning over from Amir, Hassan Ali comes on to bowl two overpitched deliveries that Warner hits either side of mid-off for two boundaries. Then bowls a full ball outside off to Smith, who plays a lovely cover drive for 4.
After 23 overs, Australia 149/1 - SUPERB OVER FROM AMIR!
WICKET! Sarfaraz Ahmed brings Mohammad Amir back into the attack and the left-arm pacer doesn’t disappoint. Aaron Finch goes for a hoick off the first ball and mis-times it, Hafeez runs backwards and takes a good catch. The crowd, mostly Pakistan supporters, erupts in joy. The stadium has come alive all of a sudden.
Smith is the new man in. And Amir beats the inside edge of Warner followed the outside edge. Amir is pumped out. Pakistan are pumped up. What an over!
After 22 overs, Australia 146/0 (Finch 82, Warner 50)
FIFTY FOR WARNER! That over sums up Pakistan’s bowling. An absolute peach around the wicket to Warner that the opener has no clue about. Plays all around that ball, beaten comfortably. And next ball, bowls a no ball. Even though the free hit is not costly, Warner pounces on a loose ball to hit a boundary and reach fifty.
After 21 overs, Australia 136/0 (Finch 79, Warner 44)
BIG OVER! Hafeez is going for plenty at the moment and that only adds to Pakistan’s woes. Two sixes for Finch in that over, one off the front foot over midwicket and the other, slog swept all the way. Finch has hit four sixes so far.
JUST IN: India batting coach Sanjay Bangar confirms KL Rahul “automatically moves to the top” in the absence of Dhawan while the team will assess the few options for no.4. Dhawan will be assessed for 10-12 days before a final call is taken, he adds.
After 20 overs, Australia 122/0 (Finch 66, Warner 43)
Hassan Ali comes back and the Aussie openers continue to rotate the strike well. Five runs off that over.
Another successful 10-over block for the Aussies even though Pakistan had their chances to fight back in that phase. Some poor cricket is costing them at the moment.
After 19 overs, Australia 117/0 (Finch 63, Warner 42)
Better over from Hafeez there, just three singles and a leg bye.
After 18 overs, Australia 113/0 (Finch 61, Warner 41)
Shaheen beats Finch with another wonderful length ball, this time from around the wicket. The pitch definitely has uneven bounce from a length, Pakistan have just not persisted with that for any significant amount of time. Warner, who has faced almost 5 overs less than Finch, continues to look busy and rotate the strike.
After 17 overs, Australia 107/0 (Finch 59, Warner 38)
FIFTY FOR AARON FINCH! Off the second ball of the over, Sarfaraz drops a catch with Hafeez coming on. Attempted cut shot, outside edge, in and out of the keeper’s gloves. And how does Finch respond? With FOUR, FOUR, SIX! A brutal hit straight down the ground followed by a cut past cover. That brings up his fifty, which he celebrates by dancing down the track and hitting one over long on.
100-run partnership comes up as well.
After 16 overs, Australia 91/0 (Finch 44, Warner 38)
A superb over from Shaheen Afridi to a struggling Finch finishes with a poor fielding effort at midon that releases the pressure on the Aussie captain. For the first time, Afridi gets a steady line and length. Finch plays out five dot balls and then is rewarded with a gift from Malik who is a better fielder than that. Finch has had a few looks at the pitch so far, tapping it with his bat: pieces coming off perhaps. Pakistan are having a good couple of overs.
After 15 overs, Australia 87/0 (Finch 40, Warner 38)
REVIEW TAKEN: Initially it looked like a desperate review from Pakistan, in hopes of a miracle wicket. Wahab convinces Sarfaraz to go for it... no bat, pitching in line, impact in line.... just clipping the top of the stumps! Umpire’s call. Good review, all told. Eventful over this, as Wahab then gets the ball to jump up on Finch and hits him on the shoulder. Then Finch almost gets himself run out looking to get off strike.
Wahab makes things happen!
After 14 overs, Australia 83/0 (Finch 37, Warner 38)
Shaheen drops short once again, Warner pulls once again past fine leg. Another boundary to the left-hander, his 5th of the innings.
After 13 overs, Australia 76/0 (Finch 35, Warner 33) - FINCH DROPPED!
Oh dear, Pakistan! This is poor cricket. Wahab, who is bowling his heart out at the moment, gets Finch to play off the back foot to a ball that is pitched full. The edge flies to Asif Ali at first slip who puts down a sitter. Terrible game awareness, should have reacted quickly and completed the catch. Next ball is on the pads, flicked to fine leg for four. Wound, meet salt.
STAT ATTACK: Wow, Pakistan bowlers have hit the stumps with just 8% of their deliveries in this innings so far! 92% missing the stumps. Says it all really!
After 12 overs, Australia 65/0 (Finch 25, Warner 32)
Consistency in length is still proving to be an issue for Shaheen... Warner helps himself to a double through cover-point off an overpitched delivery. Warner has looked very busy in the middle, while Finch is going at a strike rate of less than 60. Roles reversed from their opening stand against India, it would seem.
After 11 overs, Australia 60/0 (Finch 23, Warner 30)
Another decent over from Wahab Riaz. The left-arm seamer has conceded six runs from his two overs so far. Over starts off a surprised Warner getting a leading edge that falls short of point. That one reared up from good length, typical Wahab style.
Shaheen is back into the attack now... can he improve after a poor first ball?
After 10 overs, Australia 56/0 (Finch 22, Warner 27)
Hassan Ali irks Rameez Raja on air as he strays on to Warner’s pads to help Australia pick up four leg byes. “Hassan Ali has been leaking runs for Pakistan in the last two years,” he says with frustration evident in his voice.
End of the powerplay for Australia, their best at the World Cup so far.
After 9 overs, Australia 49/0 (Finch 22, Warner 24)
Ah, that stare down from Wahab. Memories of 2015 as the Pakistan pacer beats Finch outside the offstump with the angle and pace. No seam there, looked like just a natural variation. There was a mixup in that over between the openers as well and they quickly have a word. Remember, Finch’s runout provided the big breakthrough for India at the Oval. Australia will want to avoid that.
3.36 pm: Time for Wahab Riaz!
Australia defeated Pakistan the last time these two teams met at the World Cup in 2015. One of the lasting memories of that match was the fiery spell bowled by Wahab Riaz against Shane Watson. Relive that classic moment here:
After 8 overs, Australia 47/0 (Finch 21, Warner 23)
A boundary each for Warner and Finch as Australia are now on the charge. Hassan Ali too struggling with adapting to the left-right combination. Starts off with a wide too Warner. Finch gets back on strike and is lucky to survive an inside edge off a ball that seamed back in. Responds in style with a crunching square drive. Then Warner hits one too, off a fuller ball. Top batting by Australia.
After 7 overs, Australia 36/0 (Finch 16, Warner 18)
Amir finally concedes a boundary, off the first legal ball of his fourth over. The advantage of having a left-right combination evident as Warner gets a gift on his pads that is put away through square leg for four. Including the wide off the first ball, 8 runs off that over. This is now a very solid start for the Aussies.
After 6 overs, Australia 28/0 (Finch 16, Warner 11)
Good first over from Hassan Ali as he works the angle from over the wicket to Warner to good effect. Much fuller length than Afridi and teasing line. Drops one short to beat Warner off the length. The southpaw gets a single off the fifth to avoid a maiden over. Good contest so far.
After 5 overs, Australia 27/0 (Finch 15, Warner 11)
SECOND MAIDEN FOR AMIR! This opening spell sums up Pakistan quite well, brilliant one minute and struggling the other. Amir bowls the second maiden over out of his first three. Finch is rattled a bit by a ball that jagged back and hit him on the thigh off the inside edge. That makes him waft at two away swingers and he misses both. Amir has hit superb lengths so far.
Change already from the other end, Hassan Ali comes on.
After 4 overs, Australia 27/0 (Finch 15, Warner 11) - BIG OVER!
First six of the day! Shaheen continues to bowl shorter than he should be with the new ball, Finch pounces on it first ball and hits a six over square leg. Stunning shot. That is followed by a couple of doubles to make it 10 runs off the first 3 balls. An outside edge off the fourth ball would have carried to the third slip but PAK have only two in place. Warner hits another boundary when Afridi errs on his length again (not by much though), hitting a pull over midwicket. Finishes the over with two, pushing a full ball through cover. Afridi is struggling.
After 3 overs, Australia 10/0 (Finch 4, Warner 5)
Finch is hogging the strike at the moment and is beaten outside the offstump by a peach by Amir. To his credit though, Finch was covering for the ball that would come back into him. Gets a double through extra cover after a misfield. Amir to Warner for the first time off the last ball in that over, beaten outside off. Good start by Amir.
After 2 overs, Australia 7/0 (Finch 1, Warner 5)
Short ball from Shaheen Afridi to start off to Warner and he swivels at the crease and puts it away for the first boundary of the day. Afridi struggling with his radar in that over, would be better off bowling full and on the stumps early on.
After 1 over, Australia 0/0 (Finch 0, Warner)
Mohammad Amir starts off with a maiden over. There is a hint of swing, nothing significant but Amir bowled the line that troubles Finch often: targetting his pads with one that shapes back in. The Aussie captain plays those deliveries out watchfully. There was one ball that was wide and swinging away, Finch threw his bat at it but lucky not to get an outside edge.
2.43 pm: Australia have beaten Pakistan in their last 8 matches but that statistic may have little bearing on the game today. The overcast conditions will give the Pakistan bowlers a boost as will the win they had against tournament favourites England.
2.40 pm: According to the pitch report by Michael Clarke and Rameez Raja, “It is very cold and overcast, but no signs of rain yet. It looks like a good surface with a nice grass covering but quite dry under the surface. Extra pace and bounce for the pacers, and once you get in as a batsman, you’re in for a high-scoring game.”
2.38 pm: And here are the playing XIs...
Pakistan (Playing XI): Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez(w/c), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Shaun Marsh, Steven Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey(w), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson
2.34 pm: Australia are going without a spinner today. Kane Richardson comes into the squad for Adam Zampa and Shaun Marsh for the injured Marcus Stoinis.
2.32 pm: Sarfaraz has won the toss and Pakistan will bowl first in overcast conditions.
2.26 pm: Mohammad Amir will hope to enjoy another landmark occasion at Taunton. The group fixture at southwest county Somerset’s headquarters sees Amir back at the ground where he made his return to first-class cricket in England three years ago.
Amir was the rising star of world cricket when his career came to a stunning halt during a Lord’s Test in 2010 after both he and new-ball partner Mohamed Asif were caught bowling no-balls on the orders of then Pakistan captain Salman Butt as part of a newspaper sting operation. The trio all received five-year bans from cricket and jail terms. Amir marked his 2016 return to the first-class game in England in 2016 with a haul of three for 36 against Somerset at Taunton. All three wickets – including that of former England opener Marcus Trescothick – owed much to late swing.
Will Amir make his mark again today with seemingly helpful conditions?
2.15 pm: First things first, the weather forecast in Taunton. Whisper it, but it is mostly good news. Very little rain forecast. We should get a full game, it looks like.
2.11 pm: Some India news to start with. The Men in Blue are set to bring in Rishabh Pant to England as cover for injured opener Shikhar Dhawan. Read more here.
2.05 pm: Hello all, where ever you are watching the World Cup match today (or following online), we hope you are praying to the cricket gods (or rain gods) that we will get a full match. Is that too much to ask after two days of washed out matches on the trot? We think not.
Speaking of rain, Australia captain Aaron Finch hopes the holders don’t become the latest World Cup team to be derailed by bad weather.
Heavy rain has forced two no-results in the World Cup so far and Finch has been anxiously eyeing the forecast to see if Australia could be the next victims when they face Pakistan at Taunton on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s match against Sri Lanka was washed out on Friday before the clash between South Africa and the West Indies was abandoned after less than eight overs play on Monday.
There is rain predicted in the Taunton area on Wednesday and Finch conceded luck with the weather could play a role in who makes the semi-finals from the 10-team group stage.
“I think it (weather) might play a huge part in the next few days,” Finch told reporters on Tuesday. “Next week it starts fine and looks good across the country for the remainder of the tournament.
“So it’s important that you get early wins on the board because you don’t want to be on the wrong end of a couple of washouts that might leave you just outside that top four.”
Australia failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England following their rained-off matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh before they lost to England on D/L method.
If the match does get underway, Finch expects unpredictable Pakistan to provide a stern test.
They lost to the West Indies by seven wickets in their opening match, but shocked tournament favourites England with a fine performance.