Pakistan rallies after Warner ton to restrict Aussies to 307

TAUNTON, England (AP) — David Warner finally cut loose for Australia, posting his first international century since returning from a 12-month ban before Pakistan rallied to dismiss the defending Cricket World Cup champions for 307 in overcast conditions on Wednesday.

Left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir led the Pakistan attack and completed a career-best haul of 5-30 when Mitchell Starc was caught at long-on to end Australia's innings in the 49th over.

After opening with a stand of 146 between Warner (107) and Aaron Finch (82), Australia crumbled and lost its last six wickets for 30 runs in seven overs.

Warner wasn't exactly back to his best, but he still reached triple figures from 102 balls and stroked 11 boundaries and a six in the process.

He launched the Australian innings with a positive partnership with Finch that really should have been the foundation of a bigger total on Somerset's relatively small County Ground.

Warner edged between wicketkeeper and slip for a boundary in the 36th over and ran up the pitch before punching the air to celebrate his 15th century in one-day international cricket — and his first in any format for Australia since a test against England in December, 2017.

He was rubbed out of the representative game for 12 months for his part in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, 2018, that rocked Australian cricket.

Warner was booed by the crowd in each of his previous appearances at the World Cup, and was under pressure despite scoring runs because his unbeaten 89 against Afghanistan, his three against West Indies and his 56 against India all came at an uncharacteristically slow run-rate.

Warner was only jeered by the heavily pro-Pakistan crowd when he was dropped cold by Asif Ali at third man on 104, but that was more likely frustration at yet another fielding error from the Pakistani team.

His innings came to end with Australia at 242-4 in the 38th over, when he miscued Shaheen Afridi to Imam-ul-Haq at deep point.

From then on, Pakistan was dominant — in complete contrast to the start of the innings.

Finch, who was dropped at first slip by Asif off Wahab Riaz's bowling when he was on 26 and survived a strong LBW appeal on 39, mis-timed the first ball of the 23rd over from Amir and skied a simple catch to Mohammad Hafeez.

Finch cleared the boundary four times — taking the tournament tally of sixes beyond 100 — and hit six boundaries in an almost-run-a-ball 82.

Shaun Marsh (23) and Glenn Maxwell, who hit 20 off 10 balls, made starts but didn't go on with their innings.

Amir was the pick of the bowlers, troubling the Australian openers in an opening four-over spell of swing and seam, and striking with the first balls of his second and third spells.

Wahab was unlucky with the field and finished with 1-44 from eight overs.

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed had no hesitation in sending Australia in to bat after back-to-back washouts on Days 12 and 13 of the World Cup, and with rain on the forecast for Wednesday.

Pakistan has lost its last eight games against Australia, but is confident after upsetting top-ranked England in its last completed game.

The game started on time and there were no rain interruptions in Australia's innings, although there were showers on the forecast and Duckworth-Lewis run-rate equations could yet come into calculations.


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