Pakistan vs. Australia
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 12, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
Australia 1.44 Pakistan 2.80
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Australia will face Pakistan on Wednesday with both teams looking to bounce back with a win. The Aussies lost their previous match to India whilst Pakistan missed out on a possible two points against Sri Lanka as their last match was abandoned due to rain.
Both teams have had mixed starts to this year’s World Cup. Pakistan opened their account with a thrashing at the hands of the West Indies. They managed a measly 105 runs in that match and were bowled out after just 21.4 overs. They then upset the odds in their second match by beating the tournament favorites England before a washout saw them claim a point against Sri Lanka.
Australia began their campaign with a comfortable 7 wicket win over Afghanistan. They then produced a brilliant display in their second match to beat the West Indies; recovering from 38/4 to post 288 and claim the victory by 15 runs. They were outclassed by India in their most recent match and eventually lost by 36 runs after failing to chase down India’s total of 352/5.
Australia have performed well with the bat so far. Steve Smith (160) and David Warner (148) are amongst the tournament’s top run scorers and look to be in great touch. Alex Carey has chipped in with a couple of impressive performances and Nathan Coulter-Nile's 92 runs from just 60 balls against the West Indies suggests Australia have no shortage of quality batsmen.
Australia bowlers have also looked dangerous. Mitchell Starc claimed figures of 5/46 against the West Indies and will be looking to add to his wicket tally against Pakistan. Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis have all chipped in with wickets too.
Pakistan’s batting in their second match was unrecognizable from the performance in their opening match. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam joint top scored with just 22 runs against the West Indies but vastly improved against England. Babar Azam scored 63 and Mohammad Hafeez hit 84 from 62 against the hosts with Sarfaraz Ahmed also claiming a half century.
Pakistan bowlers will have to be on top form against the free-scoring Aussies. They have only taken 12 wickets from their two matches so far and will need some big performances with the ball if they are to trouble Australia.
It’s hard to know which Pakistan team will turn up on Wednesday. They were in wretched form leading up to the World Cup and lost their opening match heavily. They then beat England in a shock win which suggests they must be taken seriously in the competition.
Australia have been a lot more consistent. They won their opening two matches and only just lost out to a very strong India side in their third match. On paper they should breeze past Pakistan but don’t expect the underdogs to roll over and gift Australia the win.
Despite Pakistan’s surprise performance against England, Australia should have too much quality for them and I expect the Aussies to claim the victory in Taunton.