Australia vs Pakistan 5th ODI: Warner, Head flatten Pakistan

Australia pose with the trophy after crushing Pakistan 4-1

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Career-best performances by David Warner, who smashed a dazzling 179, and Travis Head, who scored a brilliant 128, led to Australia waltzing their way to a 57-run win over Pakistan in the fifth ODI in Adelaide.

As a result of Warner and Head’s incredible knocks, Australia beat Pakistan 4-1.

Choosing to bat first, Australia made a superb start to their innings as Warner and Head tormented Pakistan for nearly 42 overs with a 284-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their hundreds.

Warner and Head also etched their name into the record books as they put together the second-highest opening partner in ODI history, with the highest being a 286-run stand between Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga against England in July 2006.

Nonetheless it was Australia’s highest partnership in ODIs, beating the 260-run stand accumulated by Warner and captain Steven Smith against Afghanistan in Perth in 2015.

It was also Australia’s highest opening stand in ODIs, surpassing the 246-run partnership Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh put together against Scotland in Edinburgh in September 2013.

A shellshocked looking Pakistan side tried to do everything to dismiss either Warner or Head or limit the damage they were inflicting, but it was no good.

In the end, it was Junaid Khan who provided the breakthrough that Pakistan sorely needed as he removed Warner for 179, which came off 128 balls and included 19 boundaries and five sixes.

Warner leaps in delight upon bringing up his 13th ODI century

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Warner has now scored six ODI centuries this season, which equals the record set by former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara for the most ODI hundreds in a season.

Warner’s score is also the third-highest for Australia in ODIs, with the two higher knocks being Shane Watson’s 185 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011 and Matthew Hayden’s unbeaten 181 against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2007.

Furthermore, it was Warner’s fifth score of 150 or more in ODIs, which puts him level with iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar for the most 150-plus scores in the format.

Smith, Glenn Maxwell and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade fell shortly after, while Head ended up making 128 off 137 deliveries, which included nine boundaries and three sixes, before he was dismissed by Hasan Ali.

Head celebrates after scoring his maiden ODI hundred

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Peter Handscomb and Mitchell Starc failed to have an impact, but thanks to a quickfire 18 by James Faulkner, Australia finished on 369/7 off their 50 overs, which is their highest score against Pakistan.

Junaid and Hasan picked up two wickets apiece, while Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz snapped up one wicket each.

Chasing 370 to win, Pakistan lost captain Azhar Ali early on as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Starc for six runs.

Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam made up for the early loss of Azhar with a 130-runs stand, during which Sharjeel surpassed his half-century, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Starc for 79, which came off 69 balls and included nine boundaries and two sixes.

Sharjeel scored his sixth ODI fifty

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Mohammad Hafeez was on his way back to the pavilion shortly after, while Shoaib Malik retired hurt after being hit on the forearm.

As for Azam, he went on to make 100 off 109 deliveries, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was sent packing by Josh Hazlewood.

Azam’s fourth ODI hundred went in vain

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With his hundred, Azam became the first Pakistan batsman since Zaheer Abbas back in 1981 to score a century against Australia in Australia.

Once Azam was out, Pakistan’s resistance waned even though Umar Akmal scored a fighting 46.

Ultimately, the tourists fell well short of their target as they were bowled out for 312.

Starc was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Pat Cummins took two and Hazlewood, Faulkner and Adam Zampa claimed one wicket each.

Azhar admitted that his side were outplayed by Australia, and said: “Today again it was a very tough total to chase. Credit goes to Australia, especially David Warner and Travis Head. Chasing 360-plus is always tough, but still good positives in the batting – previous game and this game also.

“Tosses didn’t go our way either, but it’s part of the game, you can’t really practise that. It’s important that you still play good cricket. Tough teams don’t care whether they win the toss. I would like to thank Cricket Australia, and the crowd, both from Pakistan and Australia.”

Smith was thrilled to have won the match and series, and said: “We’ve played some pretty good cricket over the last couple of games. Davey has been absolutely outstanding, I thought Travis Head played very well to get his first ODI hundred as well. It was a disappointing start against South Africa and it’s been great to turn things around. It’s taken a lot of hard work and discipline from the boys.

“We’ve played some very good cricket over the last couple of months. We have a pretty quick series against New Zealand, they’ve played some good cricket recently. Hopefully we can have a good series before heading to India. I’d like to thank Pakistan for the cricket you’ve played for the last couple of months. You’ve been formidable opponents and I’ve enjoyed playing against you guys.”

Warner was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series, and said: “I just love playing cricket and churning out as many runs as possible. You’ve just got to take those chances (first-ball drop), if it doesn’t go to hand you’ve got to make the most of it. Very happy for the break (he’s been rested for the Chappell-Hadlee series).”

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