AUS vs PAK Review: Australian openers prove too heavy for Pakistan

In the 18th match of the 2023 ODI World Cup, Pakistan faced Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Opting to field first after winning the toss, Pakistan struggled to find a breakthrough as Australian openers Mitchell Marsh and David Warner displayed aggressive batting right from the start.

Warner hit Haris Rauf for a four and a six, followed by three consecutive boundaries from Marsh. The Australian opening pair made history by becoming only the third duo to score centuries in the same World Cup match, with Warner achieving his fourth consecutive century against Pakistan.

At the 40-over mark, Australia seemed poised to surpass the 400-run mark with a score of 297/3. However, Warner’s dismissal for 163 turned the tide in Pakistan’s favour. Rauf, who had initially struggled, took a crucial wicket by dismissing Josh Inglis, while Shaheen Afridi was instrumental in restricting Australia’s scoring rate towards the end.

Marcus Stoinis and Marnus Labuschagne fell victim to Shaheen’s bowling, and in the final over, he added two more wickets to his tally. As a result, Australia could only add 27 runs in the last five overs and finished with a total of 367 runs in their allotted 50 overs.

In pursuit of the target, Pakistan got off to a strong start with openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique putting together a solid partnership of 134 runs. However, once Shafique was dismissed, Pakistan lost two quick wickets.

Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan tried to stabilize the innings and maintain the required run rate during the middle overs. But, Cummins dismissed Saud, and then Zampa took charge by removing both Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan in quick succession. Despite a few big hits from Iftikhar, Pakistan’s hopes were dashed. They were eventually bowled out for 305 runs, falling short by 62 runs. Zampa was the standout bowler for Australia, claiming four wickets.

Top Performers of the Match

David Warner (163 of 124)

David Warner’s brilliant innings of 163 runs answered critics who had questioned his form in the earlier matches of the tournament. His knock included 14 fours and nine sixes, showcasing his ability to perform in high-pressure situations.

Shaheen Afridi (5/54, 10 overs)

Despite the Australian batters dominating the Pakistani bowlers, Shaheen Afridi stood out as the best bowler, taking a five-wicket haul. He had faced criticism for his lackluster performances before this match but proved his worth on the day. Although his efforts were not enough to secure a victory for Pakistan.

What next?

Going ahead, Pakistan will play against Afghanistan on October 23. While Australia will take on the Netherlands on October 25.