Recent Match Report – Australia vs Pakistan Warm-up 2023/24

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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

Australia beat Pakistan by 14 runs in the sides’ final warm-up game before the World Cup, propelled by a team effort with bat and ball. In a game that Australia controlled significantly more than the scoreline suggested, Australia posted 351 and struck early several times, before a Babar Azam-Iftikhar Ahmed partnership dragged Pakistan back into the contest.
Winning the toss and batting first, David Warner’s 33-ball 48 got Australia off to a flier, but Pakistan struck repeatedly through the middle overs to peg them back. Hasan Ali was economical up top but it was Usama Mir who took the wickets, while Mohammad Nawaz played his usual, reliable role of container.
But Pakistan’s bowlers lost momentum through the death overs against a fierce onslaught by Glenn Maxwell and Josh Inglis, with 126 runs coming off the final 12 overs. Cameron Green, too, tucked in towards the death with Mohammad Wasim and Haris Rauf coming in for particular punishment, with the allrounder reaching an unbeaten 50 off the last ball of the innings as Rauf leaked 97 in 9 overs.
Pakistan began brightly but soon ran into trouble. Imam-ul-Haq was undone by a lovely seaming delivery from Pat Cummins, while Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique fell to ungainly slogs. Marnus Labuschagne, who took three wickets, opened his account by removing a promoted Shadab Khan early, and as the run rate dropped, Pakistan were in trouble at 83 for four.

But instead of finishing the game off quickly, Australia decided they wanted to squeeze a little more juice out of this warm-up. The next 20 overs or so saw them turn to the part-time spin of Labuschagne and Maxwell, and the even more part-time spin of Steve Smith and David Warner. The latter nearly picked up Iftikhar with a rank full toss, but once Josh Inglis shelled that, carnage ensued.

Warner went for 41 in his two overs, and the two piled on 144 in just under 18 overs before Iftikhar finally holed out to the straight boundary. Babar Azam, who looked in sublime touch, gave way once he reached an unbeaten 90, but with 87 required off 13 overs, Australia began to get serious again as Cummins returned, removing Salman Ali Agha in his first over. Pakistan continued to chip away thanks to a half-century from Nawaz, but Australia burrowed ever further into the tail with wickets.

With 21 to get in the final three overs and one wicket in hand, Cummins turned to Labuschagne once more. He conceded six off his first three balls, before a Hasan Ali slog found Mitchell Marsh at long-off, ending a chaotic game where Australia wrapped up a win that might easily have been more comfortable, if they so wanted.

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