Opener David Warner, who Wednesday scored his first century since completing the ball-tampering ban, said the knock in the World Cup game against Pakistan “means a lot” to him as a batsman. Seeking to silence his doubters, Warner made 107 off 111 balls, a few days after his uncharacteristic half-century against India surprised the cricket fraternity.
Conditions were testing and up against a quality attack, Warner had to be cautious after Pakistan put Australia in. “There was a bit of movement early on, so I had to be a lot tighter. This century means a lot as a batsman. Some great efforts from Pakistan. Our bowlers were fantastic but it was a great game,” the opener said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Australia won the match by 41 runs.
Australia were cruising after Warner and skipper Aaron Finch (82) laid a stromg foundation with a 14-run opening stand. But Mohammad Amir bowled beautifully in his second spell to return his best ODI figures of 5/30 and stop the defending champions at 307.
“When I got out, we had 70 balls to go. As a batter, you want to bat 50 overs. We should’ve been around 340-350, credit to Pakistan’s bowlers. Their second spells were outstanding and they made it hard for us. It was a used wicket; it was a tad dry and they bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width,” Man of the Match Warner added.
Reeling at 160 for six in the 30th over, Pakistan’s rearguard act did put Australia under pressure, Finch admitted. “Certainly did put us under pressure. Guys like Hassan and Wahab are good strikers of the ball. Hard to stop when they’re on a roll. Just had to bowl our best ball, whether it’s a length ball or yorker. When you’re slightly off, on a small ground like this, you’re punished. Didn’t bat out our fifty overs which was disappointing. When you go with an extra batter, you back the batsmen to do the job,” Finch said.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was disappointed after his side’s second defeat of the tournament. “Definitely very disappointing. Lost three wickets in 15 balls from 140/3. To take positives, Hassan Ali batted well, Wahab batted well. Fought in the end but could not finish it off well. Except Amir, others did not bowl well,” Sarfaraz said.