Warner hundred sets up Australia World Cup win over Pakistan

Australia’s David Warner poses for a photo with fans after the win over Pakistan. (Reuters)
Updated 13 June 2019
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Warner hundred sets up Australia World Cup win over Pakistan

  • Warner made 107 and, with Australia captain Aaron Finch (82), got the defending champions off to a flying start with an opening stand of 146
  • Mohammad Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of five for 30 in 10 overs but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307

TAUNTON, United Kingdom: David Warner scored his first international century since completing a ball-tampering ban as Australia returned to winning ways at the World Cup with a 41-run victory over Pakistan at Taunton on Wednesday.
Warner made 107 and, with Australia captain Aaron Finch (82), got the defending champions off to a flying start with an opening stand of 146 — the highest partnership for any wicket at this World Cup to date.
Mohammad Amir dragged Pakistan back into the game with career-best figures of five for 30 in 10 overs but Australia still managed to post a challenging score of 307, which ultimately proved beyond their opponents.
“It means a lot to a batter to get a century,” said man-of-the-match Warner. “It was a great effort from Pakistan in the end but our bowlers bowled excellent. They probably got closer than we expected.”
Pakistan, after a middle-order collapse that saw them lose three wickets for 11 runs in 15 balls, were all but beaten at 200 for seven in the 34th over.
But captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (40) and the big-hitting Wahab Riaz (45) gave them renewed hope with a stand of 64.
Australia, who lost to India on Sunday, were again looking to Mitchell Starc to get them out of a tight spot, as had done in an earlier win over the West Indies and the fast bowler duly delivered with 2-43.
He had Wahab caught behind got off a thin edge, although it needed an Australia review of an original not out decision to leave Pakistan 264-8
Two balls later, Amir played on for a duck before Glenn Maxwell ended the match with a brilliant direct hit run out of Sarfaraz.
Pakistan’s chase started badly when Fakhar Zaman fell for a duck uppercutting Cummins to Kane Richardson at third man.
Babar Azam was in superb touch, with 28 of his 30 runs coming in fours, before he mishooked Nathan Coulter-Nile to deep backward square leg.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was upping the tempo in his 53 when he gloved Pat Cummins (3-33) down the legside to wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
Finch, an occasional slow bowler, grabbed a real bonus wicket when Mohammad Hafeez (46) hit a rank full toss straight to Starc at deep square leg.
And when Shoaib Malik was brilliantly caught for nought by a diving Carey after inside edging Cummins, Pakistan were in dire straits at 147-5.
Both Warner and Steve Smith, also returning from a year-long ban for ball-tampering, had been jeered by fans in previous games but Pakistan fans largely heeded an appeal from Sarfaraz not to boo the pair, preferring to roar chants of “Amir!, Amir!.”
Warner completed his 15th one-day international hundred when an edge off Shaheen Shah Afridi flew past slip for four.
An elated Warner leapt in the air in celebration but his 111-ball innings ended soon afterwards when he was caught at point off Shaheen, having gone past fifty for the third time in four innings at this World Cup.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Sarfaraz. “We lost three wickets in 15 balls and that’s why we lost.
“We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs apart from Mohammad Amir. We came back and restricted them well but it was a 270-280 pitch.
“We made some runs and got starts but we’ve got to convert them and go long. If you want to win matches your top four must score runs.”
Australia have three wins in four matches while Pakistan are struggling, with just one victory in their four games so far.


Kodjia fires Ivory Coast past South Africa in Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 49 min 2 sec ago
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Kodjia fires Ivory Coast past South Africa in Africa Cup of Nations

  • The Elephants set themselves up for a much improved display in Egypt after Kodjia scrambled home the winner on 64 minutes

CAIRO: Jonathan Kodjia struck the only goal as Ivory Coast defeated South Africa 1-0 in the steamy Cairo heat on Monday in a meeting of former Africa Cup of Nations champions.

Ivory Coast won the title for the second time in 2015 but crashed out in the group stage two years ago without a victory and are trying to rebuild a team to match that of their golden generation.

The Elephants set themselves up for a much improved display in Egypt after Kodjia scrambled home the winner on 64 minutes against the 1996 champions.

“It was a difficult match and the important thing for us was not to come a cropper in the opening game,” said Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara. “We needed to start well in the competition and that’s what we’ve done.”

South Africa boss Stuart Baxter said he had no complaints about the result after his side rarely threatened the Ivorian goal.

“Because of the lack of strikes on goal we can’t complain about losing the game, but I thought the players put in a great performance and it’s a great learning curve for us,” he said.

Talent

Kamara sees Nicolas Pepe as one the young stars who can banish the memories of a disastrous title defense, and the in-demand Lille forward soon demonstrated his talent with a jinking run that ended with Kodjia snatching at a shot from close range.

South Africa, who failed to qualify for the 2017 edition, on the other hand have arrived in Egypt as one of the most unpredictable teams.

Bafana Bafana scaled the heights at the outset of 2019 qualifying by winning 2-0 in Nigeria, then sank into mediocrity by drawing 0-0 away to lowly ranked Seychelles.

In the first half at Al Salam Stadium where temperatures again peaked around 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit) they were largely limited to counter-attacks, captain Thulani Hlatshwayo going closest with a header that brushed the roof of the net.

Ivory Coast headed home early in Gabon after they were held by Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo and lost against Morocco, but they nearly took the lead here twice in quick succession around the half-hour.

After a foul on the edge of the South Africa box Pepe, the 22-goal second highest French Ligue 1 scorer last season behind Kylian Mbappe, slammed a thunderous free kick against the crossbar with Ronwen Williams rooted to the spot.

The South Africa goalkeeper then produced a stunning reflex save to keep Kodjia out moments later as the Aston Villa forward ran clean through before needlessly opting for power over precision.

Amid the energy-sapping heat both sides made a labored start to the second half but it eventually burst into life when Kodjia atoned for his earlier miss.

Max Gradel was released into space down the left and the winger whipped a precise early ball across to an unmarked Kodjia who stabbed beyond Williams.

South Africa substitute Lars Veldwijk tumbled to the ground under pressure from Serge Kanon late on as they pressed for an equalizer and Sibusiso Vilakazi blazed over on the turn, while Pepe was denied a second for Ivory Coast from another free-kick following a flying save by Williams.