Cricket

Australia vs Pakistan: Title holder hoping weather holds after India setback

Aaron Finch will expect Australia to respond like a champion when it faces Pakistan in what could be a shortened Cricket World Cup match on Wednesday.

India ended the world champion’s 10-match winning ODI run with a 35-run victory at The Oval on Sunday.

Australia will be without Marcus Stoinis (side strain) when it looks to hit back against the ICC Champions Cup holder at Taunton.

READ | Zing bails not falling has its makers ‘stumped’

Pakistan was left frustrated when its match against Sri Lanka last Friday was washed out after defeating favourite and host England at Trent Bridge.

A brilliant performance in Nottingham last Monday halted an 11-match losing streak and gave another demonstration that Pakistan is a major threat, despite enduring such a poor run heading into the tournament. 

With showers forecast after a dry and cloudy start, it appears unlikely a full match will be possible.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

Australia eased to a seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan and beat West Indies by 15 runs before coming unstuck against India, making 316 all out in reply to 352-5 in a run-fest at The Oval.

Pakistan started with an embarrassing seven-wicket thumping at the hands of the Windies after being dismissed for only 105, but beat favourite England by 14 runs. It was unable to follow that up with a victory over Sri Lanka, as no play was possible in Bristol last Friday due to rain.

WHAT THEY SAID

Australia captain Finch: “I think Pakistan are obviously a very dangerous side. We’ve seen consistently throughout, especially ICC tournaments, that they win a lot of games and they get themselves in a position to win the tournament. And they had a great Champions Trophy. So regardless of what kind of form Pakistan go in with, they’re always incredibly dangerous.”

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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed: “Our morale is very high, we have momentum. So hopefully we’ll do very well against them tomorrow. We can’t control the weather, but definitely if the match is shortened, the plan changes.”

OPTA FACTS

– Australia has won 14 of its last 15 ODI clashes with Pakistan, including its last eight in a row and most recently a 5-0 series whitewash in the United Arab Emirates.

– Steve Smith has reached 50 in seven of his last eight Cricket World Cup matches.

– Pakistan and Australia have met four times before in World Cup matches in England, winning two apiece.

Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/icc-cricket-world-cup/news/world-cup-2019-australia-pakistan-match-preview-county-ground-taunton-aaron-finch-sarfaraz-ahmed/article27819282.ece

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