David Warner and Mitchell Marsh hit tons to fire Australia to big win over Pakistan

Openers put on record stand of 259 in dominant World Cup victory in Bengaluru

Australia's Mitchell Marsh celebrates with his teammate David Warner after scoring a century against Pakistan. AFP
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Australia leapfrogged Pakistan in the 2023 Cricket World Cup standings with an impressive 62-run victory in Bengaluru on Friday.

Hundreds from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh in a record opening partnership of 259 laid the foundations for a total of 367 for nine and a win which puts Australia in contention for a semi-final spot after earlier defeats to India and South Africa.

Warner’s 163 from 124 balls, his fifth World Cup century and the highest individual score of the tournament, came after he been dropped on 10 with Usama Mir spilling a steepling catch.

Marsh celebrated his 32nd birthday with a second one-day international hundred – 121 coming from 108 deliveries.

Their partnership eclipsed Australia’s previous best opening stand of 183 at a World Cup and was the second highest in the competition’s history.

Australia had appeared set for a 400-plus total, but Marcus Stoinis (21) and Josh Inglis (13) were the only other batters to reach double figures as Pakistan took wickets at regular intervals from the 34th over onwards.

Shaheen Afridi finished with figures of five for 54 from his 10 overs and Haris Rauf chipped in with three wickets.

Pakistan replied with their first World Cup century from the opening partnership since 2015 – 134 between Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq.

Shafique and Imam were given lives on 27 and 48 respectively as substitute fielder Sean Abbott and captain Pat Cummins put down presentable chances.

Stoinis eventually removed Shafique (64) and Imam (70) before Adam Zampa claimed the key wicket of captain Babar Azam for 18.

Muhammad Rizwan, 46 from 40 balls, and some lusty hitting from Saud Shakeel and Iftikhar Ahmed gave Pakistan hope of achieving a record World Cup chase.

But Zampa took four for 53 and Australia turned the screw to dismiss Pakistan for 305 in 45.3 overs and move up to fourth in the table.

Australia's player of the match, David Warner, said: "It was awesome. We thought the threat was going to be the first five or six overs with the new ball then once we got the pace of the wicket, we were going to target the next guys that came on.

"For us to go out there and put in a performance and a score on the board like that is very pleasing.

"[I was] just committing and backing my skills. I felt like I was ticking along and was just one bit of luck away. It helps when you're hitting the ball out of the middle. Playing on a ground like this, you've got to take those chances.

"It was just good to get out there and get a partnership with Mitch today. We spoke about wanting to bat together until the 35th over at least then at the back end, we could score heavily."

Updated: October 20, 2023, 6:00 PM