Oct 04, 2023 Sports
BENGALURU, (Reuters) – Pakistan batsman Babar Azam scored a breezy 90 against Australia while Iftikhar Ahmed sparkled at the top of the order with an 83 but the 1992 world champions could not prevent a 14-run defeat in their World Cup warm-up game in Hyderabad yesterday.
The Australian batsmen also enjoyed a good outing earlier, as Glenn Maxwell (77), Cameron Green (50 not out), Josh Inglis (48), David Warner (48) and Marnus Labuschagne (40) all fired and helped the five-times World Cup winners post 351-7 in 50 overs.
Babar was the pick of the Pakistani batsmen during the chase smashing 11 fours and two sixes on a batsman-friendly wicket but he retired after facing 59 balls and the Asian side ran out of steam despite a classy 50 by Mohammad Nawaz late on.
Pakistan folded for 337 to hand Australia the victory, but both teams will be pleased with their batsmen heading into the showpiece tournament that gets underway on Thursday.
“The result is not important,” said Pakistan’s stand-in skipper Shadab Khan. “We took a lot of positives. Our attitude was good. The result not in our hands.
“I think our 11 is sorted, we wanted to give time to the bench to show their skills. When you play against Australia and New Zealand, you get confidence.”
Pakistan face the Netherlands on Friday.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins said he was pleased with his side ahead of their opener against India on Sunday.
“We’re looking in better frame. Mitchell Marsh bowled well, same with Maxwell and Mitchell Starc,” Cummins said.
“Just about everyone contributed in the middle, Green and Inglis were brilliant at the end.”
Earlier, the contest between India and the Netherlands was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain at Thiruvananthapuram and denied the hosts a workout before their tournament opener.
India’s clash against defending champions England had also suffered the same fate last week, but Rohit Sharma’s side will be high on confidence having recently beaten Australia in a three-match series.
In Guwahati, a century by Rahmanullah Gurbaz and a 93 by Rahmat Shah helped Afghanistan seal a morale-boosting six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-shortened contest.
Chasing a revised 257 in 42 overs, Gurbaz (119) and Shah excelled before retiring to lay the platform for the win, which Afghanistan achieved in 38.1 overs.
Sri Lanka had earlier posted 294 in 46.2 overs thanks mainly to a blistering 87-ball 158 by Kusal Mendis.
Scores: Australia 351 for 7 (Green 50*, Warner 48, Inglis 48, Mir 2-31) beat Pakistan 337 (Babar 90, Iftikhar 83, Labuschagne 3-78) by 14 runs.
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