The daily tournament preview charges down the wicket with Cricket World Cup tips for Australia’s crunch clash with Pakistan.
19:30 (AEST), Wed 12th Jun @ County Ground, Taunton
History: Played 103: Australia 67 V Pakistan 32 (1 Tie, 3 No Results)
Last meeting: March 31, 2019: Australia d Pakistan by 20 runs at Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Final Thoughts: Australia are suddenly under the pump at Cricket World Cup after going down in a heavyweight clash on Sunday. Meanwhile, Pakistan are hunting their second big scalp at the tournament.
After cruising to a seven-wicket win over Afghanistan, Australia got out of jail with a 15-run victory over West Indies. They recovered from 4/38 to post 288 – largely thanks to Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 92 off 60. Mitchell Starc revived his 2015 Cricket World Cup form with 5/46 as the Windies came up short at 9/273.
But their 10-match ODI winning streak came to a shuddering halt courtesy of a 36-run loss to India on Sunday. Australia’s bowlers struggled as India racked up 5/352. Steve Smith (69 off 70), David Warner (56 off 84) and Alex Carey (55* off 35) battled hard but Australia were bowled out for 316 in the final over, unable to build lengthy partnerships.
Pakistan responded to their woeful seven-wicket loss to West Indies (bowled out for 105) with a 14-run upset of hosts England. Mohammad Hafeez carried off man-of-the-match honours with 84 off 62 and 1/47.
But their clash with Sri Lanka on Friday was washed out.
Australia have won 21 of their last 24 ODIs against Pakistan, including the last eight straight.
The Aussies carved out a 5-0 series cleansweep in the UAE in March. Aaron Finch was dominant with 451 runs at 112.75 in five innings, while Usman Khawaja (272 runs at 54.40) and Glenn Maxwell (258 runs at 64.50) also starred. Haris Sohail blasted two centuries among 291 runs at 72.75 for Pakistan.
Australia are $1.38 favourites and they should get the job done. David Warner releasing the shackles is key to their Cricket World Cup prospects moving forward. The blockbusting opener has scored 89*, 3 and 56 so far, but at the uncustomary strike-rate of 71.8.