Bengaluru, Oct 20: After being beaten by India, the two formidable forces of world cricket- Australia and Pakistan were suppose to play aggressive brand of cricket and outshine each other.
In the 18th match of the ICC ODI World Cup on Friday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, here in the Garden City the Aussies were too attacking and merciless against Pakistani bowlers.
Seasoned campaigner David Warner and flamboyant Mitchell Marsh played explosive innings and scored individual centuries to set a mammoth 368-run target before Pakistan.
In reply, Pakistan were 159/2 in 24 overs. Abdullah Shafique (64 in 61 balls) was first to depart, caught by Glenn Maxwell off Marcus Stoinis. His opening partner Imam-ul-Haq followed him, after run-a-ball 70. He too was claimed by Stoinis, being caught by Mtchell Starc.
Earlier, in the must win match, the Kangaroos piled up 367/9 in 50 overs. Both openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh rattled the Pakistani attack and were on a unstoppable mission till 33.5 overs. Both scored tons and shared a record 259-run opening partnership.
Finally, Shaheen Shah Afridi got Marsh (121 in 108 balls) caught at short fine leg by Usama Mir. But by then, Marsh-Warner pair had almost demoralised the Pakistani bowlers.
Glenn Maxwell promoted up the order, perhaps to play freely and accelerate further, however failed. He went for a golden duck. Maxwell was caught at mid on by captain Babar Azam and Afridi struck again, got two in two balls.
At the fall of Maxwell's wicket, experienced Steven Smith joined Warner in the middle. But he went back cheaply scoring only 7 in 9 balls.
Pakistan claimed 3 wickets in less than 5 overs. From 259/0, Australia were suddenly placed at 284/3.
Warner's 124-ball explosive innings finally came to an end, with 14 boundaries and 9 huge sixes. When he was caught by substitute Shadab Khan off Haris Rauf, Warner has already shattered the opposition with a superb 163-run hurricane innings.
Rauf also got rid of Aussie keeper Josh Inglish (13 runs in 9 balls). He was sent back caught by his Pakistani counterpart Mohd Rizwan behind the stumps and Rauf got his second scalp.
Trying to accelerate Marcus Stoinis (21), Marnus Labuschagne (8), Mitchell Starc (2) and Josh Hazlewood (0) departed in quick succession. Skipper Pat Cummins (6) remained unbeaten with Adam Zampa (1).
For the Pakistanis, Afridi was the most successful and economical bowler with a 5/54 figure in his quota of 10 overs. Rauf 3/83 in 8 overs and Usama Mir 1/82 in 9 overs, too managed to feature in the wickets-column.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field first against the Aussies.
Pakistan rested off-colour spinner Shadab Khan and brought in tall leg-spinner Usama Mir. But Mir too proved to be struggling as Australians went berserk with the willow.
After winning the toss, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said, "It looks a good pitch and we want to take early wickets and put pressure. We had a couple of good sessions and rest days. We are confident. We need to bat better and we were not up to the mark against India. Shadab Khan out for Usama Mir. We are trying different combinations."
Australian captain Pat Cummins said, "We are fine batting first, although we too have bowled first. It's a really good wicket and we are happy with the energy we brought out against Sri Lanka in the field. The intent with the bat was excellent. We hope for much of the same. Same side, everyone's good to go."
Australia XI: David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wicket-keeper), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (captain), Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.
Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Usama Mir.
(Match to continue)