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ODI World Cup: Babar Azam knock in vain as Australia warm up with 14-run win over Pakistan | Cricket News – Times of India



HYDERABAD: Pakistan’s stand-in captain Shadab Khan believes in walking the talk. At the toss, Shadab, who was leading the side in the absence of regular skipper Babar Azam, had remarked: “Babar (Azam) and (Mohammad) Rizwan are resting but I am the captain and will make him (Babar) work hard.” Shadab, later in the evening, lived up to his word. Babar was forced to play yet another exceptional knock but couldn’t prevent his team from losing by 14 runs to Australia in their warm-up game at the RGIC Stadium, here on Tuesday night.
Chasing 352 for victory, on a flat track with a lightning quick outfield, Pakistan top-order, including Shadab, collapsed to 83 for four. Openers Fakhar Zaman (22) and Imam-ul-Haq (11) got a start but failed to build on it. Abdullah Shafiq (12) and Shadab (9) too seemed to be in a rush to get back to the pavilion. This forced the ‘resting’ Babar to come out to bat and redeem the fortunes of the team. Babar and Iftikhar Ahmed strung a 144-run partnership for the fifth wicket to take the fight to the rival camp.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins made things a bit easy for the Pakistan team by using David Warner (41 runs from 2 overs) and Steve Smith (30 from 3 overs). The Pakistan duo took full toll of the part-time spinners and spiced up the encounter. By the time Iftikhar holed out to Cameron Green off Marnus Labuschagne he had scored an 85-ball 83 (6×4 4×6). Babar went on to make a 59-ball 90 (11×4, 2×6) before retiring hurt with the score reading 255 for five. Southpaw Mohammad Nawaz took over the proceedings and struck a 42-ball 50 (6×4, 1×6) to keep Pakistan in the hunt. But the task was too big for the tail as Pakistan ended up with 337 in 47.4 overs
Earlier, after having got to bat only 23 overs in their first warm-up game against the Netherlands, five-time champions Australia made the most of the opportunity to bat for their full quota of 50 overs. Helped by half-centuries from Glenn Maxwell (77; 71b, 4×4, 6×6) and Cameron Green (50no; 40b, 4×4, 1×6), Australia made 351 for seven.
“Good chance for a couple of our batters to spend some time in the middle,” Cummins had said after winning the toss. Openers David Warner and Mitchell Marsh didn’t disappoint as they strung an 83-run partnership for the first wicket. Southpaw Warner was quite comfortable as he is well acquainted with the conditions here. The former Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper was the aggressive of the two as he struck four boundaries and three over it in his 32-ball 48.
Marsh, on the other hand, was quite subdued as he took time to gauge the conditions. When it looked that the Aussies were all set for an onslaught, Pakistan got a double break through Usama Mir. The leg-spinner induced a false stroke from Warner and in the next over sent back Marsh (31; 48b, 2×4, 2×6) with a beauty.
Steve Smith (27; 29b, 2×4) and Marnus Labuschagne (31b; 5×4) then got together to keep the Pakistan bowlers at bay. The duo added 59 runs before they fell in quick succession.
This set the stage for the most entertaining part of the innings. ‘Mad Max’ Glenn Maxwell was at his fluent best as he literally toyed with the rival attack. He brought to the fore all the strokes in his arsenal as he struck four fours and six sixes in his 71-ball 77. He added 83 for the sixth wicket with Cameron Green – of which Maxwell contributed 58 and Green 11.
Maxwell fell in the 41st over with Australia on 255. Green (50 not out; 40b, 4×4, 1×6) and Josh Inglis (48; 30b, 8×4, 1×6) then added 83 for the seventh wicket in eight overs as the Aussie batters dominated the final 10 overs of the innings – they scored 103 runs.





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