Australia v Pakistan: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023

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Key events

16th over: Australia 134-0 (Warner 64, Marsh 61) The longer this partnership goes on, the more Australia will be tempted to tinker with the batting order. I’d expect Smith to come in at No3, unless this pair bat for 30+ overs, but Labuschagne might drop down.

The offspinner Iftikhar replaces Haris Rauf, and Marsh waves a regal back-foot drive for four. We’ve already had 96 runs in boundaries: 14 fours and seven sixes

“The race for the century is on,” says Krishnamoorthy V, “between Warner, Marsh and Rauf.”

Arf. Rashid Khan’s unwanted record for the worst World Cup figures (9-0-110-0) is up for grabs today. The worst for Pakistan, since you asked, are Hasan Ali’s 9-0-84-1 against India four years ago.

Good toss to loose , I like it when we bat first , Pakistan not on today 👏👏👍🇦🇺to win I feel .

— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) October 20, 2023

15th over: Australia 128-0 (Warner 63, Marsh 56) Marsh drives Usama for a single to reach a dominant half-century from 40 balls, with eight fours and two imperious sixes. It’s been a pleasure to watch him bat with such style and authority in the last few months. Talking of which, Usama tosses one up and Marsh launches the ball back over his head for a massive six. That hit the top of the grandstand as well.

Never mind 350; Australia are on for 400 here. They could even regain their record for the highest World Cup score from South Africa, who pummelled 428 for five against Sri Lanka last week.

14th over: Australia 119-0 (Warner 61, Marsh 49) Warner has made centuries in his last three ODIs against Pakistan, going back to 2017. He looks pretty good for another and has just scooped Rauf for another six.

Rauf’s response is an angry bouncer – too angry, because it bounces over Warner’s head and is called wide. His internal monologue must be a riot, especially as Marsh has just pulled him flat and hard for six more. Rauf’s figures would look bad on Stick Cricket: 3-0-47-0.

13th over: Australia 103-0 (Warner 54, Marsh 42) Usama is getting some dangerous turn back into Warner. But as has been the case throughout this innings, a good ball is followed by a really bad one – a full toss that Warner whaps thumps to cow corner for four. That brings up the hundred partnership and Warner’s fifty, a decisive 39-ball effort. He has punished the bad ball ruthlessly.

Australia's David Warner watches the ball after playing a shot against Pakistan in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Australia’s David Warner gives the ball a thwacking on his way to his half-century. Photograph: R Satish Babu/AFP/Getty Images

12th over: Australia 96-0 (Warner 48, Marsh 41) Australia are targeting Haris Rauf. His first delivery, having changed ends, is a stinker that Marsh cuts for yet another boundary. Australia have scored 75 per cent of their runs in boundaries.

The rest of Rauf’s over is much better, with a tighter line, a harder length and – shock, horror – no more boundaries.

“Good team that,” says Pete Salmon, “but two words – David Hookes.”

He’d do a job for sure. Krishnamoorthy V has pointed out that Wisden put together a similar XI. Javagal Srinath is a good shout; I thought he was an outstanding bowler.

11th over: Australia 88-0 (Warner 45, Marsh 36) The legspinner Usama Mir replaces Haris Rauf. He’s a good, attacking bowler, though that dropped catch may have unnerved him. Pakistan really need a wicket, so Babar puts in a slip for Marsh. Usama starts well, getting some turn and bounce – but then he drops short and is cut to third man for four by Warner. Well though Australia have batted, this has been a really scruffy performance from Pakistan.

“Unlike your and Kim’s beasts, our two Labrador/Retriever failed guide dogs generally love the rain, streams, ponds, mud (and worse) and food, although probably in reverse order,” says Brian Withington. “The thing that discomforts the younger one is impassioned household shouting, and so he has learnt to take himself off to the back door whenever any sporting event of potential significance comes on the TV, especially anything involving West Ham and its manager. The ICC World Cup has failed to stir him yet, although Mir’s drop of Warner had him looking nervously in my direction…”

10th over: Australia 82-0 (Warner 40, Marsh 35) Australia have finished the Powerplay with a runglut: 24 from Haris Rauf’s first over and now 15 from Iftikhar’s second. Warner walloped a long hop over midwicket for six before Marsh cut and slashed successive fours.

Warner was on 10 when he was dropped, embarrassingly, by Usama Mir. Since then he has pumped 29 from 15 balls.

9th over: Australia 67-0 (Warner 33, Marsh 27) Haris Rauf, Pakistan’s quickest bowler by a distance, comnes on for Afridi – and his first over disappears for 24!

The first ball was a complete mess: short, very wide and clattered over backward point for four by Warner, who then scooped him for a huge six! It was a reasonable delivery, full and straight. Warner moved inside the line, got down on one knee and lifted the ball for a 98-metre six. The ball hit the top of the grandstand and bounced back onto the field.

Marsh timed a majestic straight drive for four more, then slashed successive back cuts to the fence. Australia are using Haris’s pace against him.

8th over: Australia 43-0 (Warner 22, Marsh 15) The occasional offspinner Iftikhar Ahmed comes into the attack, an interesting move with three overs of the Powerplay remaining. His second ball is a wide, the sixth of the innings already, and his third legitimate delivery is cut for four by Warner. This is a terrific start for Australia.

7th over: Australia 37-0 (Warner 17, Marsh 15) Shaheen pulled his length back from the start of the second over, realising there was no swing, and for the most part he has nailed it. That means plenty of dot balls – including six in a row to Marsh in this over – but less of a wicket-taking threat.

He’s bowling well though and has figures of 4-1-14-0. They really should be 4-1-13-1.

“Imran Khan makes the team as a batter (average 37.69),” says Simon McMahon, “but you can throw him the ball if you need a wicket? It’s not cheating, exactly.”

Yes, why not have Sobers, Botham, Kapil and Hadlee. And have you seen Don Bradman’s bowling average?

6th over: Australia 37-0 (Warner 17, Marsh 15) Warner drives Hasan towards extra cover, where the diving Shakeel (I think) saves four with an excellent stop. Hasan gives Australia half of those runs by immediately bowling back-to-back wides.

Hasan has an LBW appeal turned down when Warner misses another pick-up shot. That looked pretty close, though there’s no way Pakistan can risk a review after spaffing one off the first ball of the innings. I don’t think it was out anyway.

Warner cuts for four when Hasan drops short later in the over. Even by Pakistan’s standards, this has been a mercurial start.

“Morning (UK time) Rob, morning (or afternoon/evening) everyone,” writes Em Jackson. “A light-hearted one, this, given I’m a neutral today. Switched on the TMS commentary having checked the fixtures to see what time the start of play was and noted, as an aside, the Women’s Big Bash League has just started (Brisbane won)… so by that measure, Christmas isn’t very far away! Coming soon… the darts LOL.”

Oi, oi, oi, who’s LOLing at the darts?

5th over: Australia 27-0 (Warner 11, Marsh 14) Oh, Pakistan. Usama Mir, brought into the side today, has just dropped an absolute sitter. Warner fetched a short ball from outside off stump and top-edged it miles in the air. Usama steadied himself at mid-on… and the ball went straight through his hands and into his chest. That’s a shocker on a couple of levels: they’ve given Warner a life, and Usama will have that drop on his mind when he comes on to bowl.

Shaheen, his concentration briefly disturbed by the aforementioned fiasco, feeds Marsh’s cut shot next ball and is put away for four.

4th over: Australia 22-0 (Warner 10, Marsh 10) Hasan strays onto the pads of Warner, who flicks him round the corner for a flat six. Thus far Australia have only attacked the really poor deliveries, which is a smart approach against Pakistan on this pitch. If they are 50 for none after 10, they’ll be looking at a huge total.

Hasan ends the over as he started it, with a piece of rubbish: short, wide and slapped to the point boundary by Marsh.

3rd over: Australia 11-0 (Warner 3, Marsh 6) There’s not much swing for Afridi, which is good news for Australia and particularly the right-handed Marsh. A series of good-length deliveries are defended by Marsh. Australia aren’t in a hurry – they know how important it is not to lose early wickets, and that they can make up for lost balls later in the innings.

2nd over: Australia 9-0 (Warner 2, Marsh 6) Hasan Ali shares the new ball. He’s no Naseem Shah but he’s done a pretty good so far; Pakistan’s problem has been the form of their senior bowlers.

Marsh throws the ceramic rectangle at an outswinger and is beaten. On a pitch like this, it feels even more important to take early wickets while the ball is swinging. Just two runs from the over.

1st over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 1, Marsh 6) Warner tries to leave Shaheen and inadvertently knocks the ball to third man for a single.

Shaheen is not exactly a beacon of equanimity right now. He celebrates a catch down the leg side, punching the air in triumph, yet nobody else even appealed. Marsh drives the next ball imperiously over mid-off for six. Now that’s how to get off the mark in a big World Cup match.

“Re your XI of players who transcend statistics, what’s the criterion for the wicket keeper, then?” says Ewan Glenton. “Knott took 250 catches in 95 Tests. That’s about 100 less than Rod Marsh (343 in 96 Tests). So is Knott in there because he didn’t take enough catches, or just because of his batting average? Btw Knott was a more prolific stumper (19 to Marsh’s 12).”

I went on batting average, as that’s how keepers are generally judged. But maybe I should have lowered the bar to 20 for that position.

Warner is not out! Yep, a huge inside edge. That’s a shocker from Pakistan. Babar reviewed reluctantly, with a second to go, but Afridi was convinced it was out.

Warner was on the walk when he was hit on the pad, and there might have been two noises as well.

Pakistan review for LBW against Warner first ball! I think it’s a poor review, in truth, but we’ll soon find out.

Shaheen Shah Afridi has the ball, David Warner is taking guard. Let’s get it on.

The players line up for the anthems. The weather in Bengaluru is beautiful; it’s a fine day for a runfest.

“Morning Rob,” writes Kim Thonger. “Our two dachshunds, having refused to go outside the house today, into the pouring rain, have settled down in front of the TV but appear to be interested only in the sunshine, not the cricket.”

Heh. One of our dogs hovers by the back door, derriere in the air, when it’s raining, then looks up at me as if she’s asking me to make it stop.

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s new-ball spell is always worth watching. But he hasn’t been at his best lately – Osman Samiuddin wrote a cracking piece on Cricinfo – and you’d imagine Australia will try to put him under pressure straight away. The consensus among the pundits is that 300 is an absolute minimum.

“Good morning Rob,” says Krishnamoorthy V. I hope you had time after Kohli’s century to work on the elegant XI. Here is mine: David Boon, Mark Waugh, Vinod Kambli, Marlon Samuels, Vijay Manjrekar, Rusi Modi, Jack Russell, Chris Old, Andy Bichel, Iqbal Qasim, Erapalli Prasanna.”

Ah, I think we got our wires crossed. I did an XI of players who transcend statistics, whether through style, impact or both. Batters had to average below 40 to be available for selection; bowlers had to average above 30.

Here’s the team: Victor Trumper, Kris Srikkanth, Kim Hughes, Carl Hooper, Brendon McCullum, Ben Stokes (c), Learie Constantine, Alan Knott (wk), Brett Lee, Abdul Qadir, Patrick Patterson.

Team news

Australia are unchanged. Pakistan bring in the legspinner Usama Mir for the out-of-form Shadab Khan.

Australia Warner, Marsh, Smith, Labuschagne, Inglis (wk), Maxwell, Stoinis, Starc, Cummins (c), Zampa, Hazlewood.

Pakistan Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Usama Mir.

Pakistan win the toss and bowl

The pitch looks a belter, very hard, and there should be a bit of dew later on. Pat Cummins said he would have bowled first, though he doesn’t seem too perturbed.

A bit of pre-match reading

Australia have a mixed World Cup record against Pakistan: six wins, four defeats. There was a very costly collapse at Perth in 1992 but the most significant meeting was one of cricket’s great anticlimaxes: the 1999 final.


Rob Smyth

Rob Smyth

Hello. For a team in the bottom half of the table, Australia are in surprisingly good shape. This week’s shock results have undermined England and South Africa, two probable opponents for a semi-final place, and victory over Pakistan today would seriously damage another.

On the hypeometer, this game is somewhere big and huge. In a couple of weeks time, we may reflect that it was decisive in, well, deciding who made the last four. So far the teams have had pretty similar tournaments. Both have lost to India, both have beaten Sri Lanka, both have lamented the absence of key players.

Both also know that World Cups are usually about peaking at the right time. In 1992, Pakistan had to win their last five games to become world champions. Seven years later, Australia saw that and raised it to seven. (Yes, yes, I know technically they didn’t win one of them, but tell that to Allan Donald.)

While Australia and Pakistan aren’t quaffing in the last-chance saloon yet, they’re certainly in the neighbourhood. Yep, this is a biggie. Who knows, we might even get the first thriller of the tournament.

Play starts in Bengaluru at 2pm IST/7:30pm AEDT/9:30am BST

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