Cricket World Cup 2015

Australia thump Afghanistan

2015-03-04 15:47
Australia (AFP)

Perth - Merciless Australia have hit the highest ever World Cup score on Wednesday when they piled-up 417-6 in a record 275-run triumph over Afghanistan as Pakistan cruised to a 129-run win against the UAE.

At the WACA in Perth, four-time champions Australia went past the previous World Cup best of 413-5 made by India against Bermuda in 2007 before dismissing Afghanistan for just 142.

It was the third 400-plus total in the last six days after South Africa twice went through the barrier - 408-5 against the West Indies and 411-4 in the game with Ireland.

David Warner made Australia's highest World Cup individual score of 178, beating the 158 of Matthew Hayden against West Indies at Antigua in 2007.

He was just seven short of Shane Watson's national record in all ODIs of 185 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011.

Warner's 260-run second-wicket partnership with Steve Smith, who went on to make 95, was also an Australian ODI record beating the 252 of Ricky Ponting and Watson against England at Centurion in 2009.

Glenn Maxwell hit a rapid 88 off just 39 balls with six fours and seven sixes on another record-shattering day which will surely prompt more calls for an overhaul of the regulations which many believe are too heavily-weighted in favour of batsmen.

In reply, Afghanistan could manage just 142 from 37.3 overs, although Nawroz Mangal, who top-scored with 33, gave their smattering of fans something to cheer when he hit Mitchell Marsh for successive sixes.

Mitchell Johnson did much of the damage to claim 4-22 from 7.3 overs while fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc continued his amazing vein of World Cup form with 2-18 and has 10 wickets in the event at just 9.3 runs apiece.

"It was a very good win. The boys were outstanding with the bat," said Australia skipper Michael Clarke.

"David Warner was excellent and the way the others played around him -- Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell -- was unbelievable. The way we bowled set a good standard for ourselves. Overall, it was much improved from our display against New Zealand."

Australia, who went into the game on the back of a one-wicket loss to New Zealand, an opening win over England and a no-result washout against Bangladesh, now have five points in Pool A and are well set for the quarter-finals.

Afghanistan have three defeats to a single win over fellow non-Test team Scotland.

"It's a good experience and Australia played very well, especially Warner and Smith," said Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi. "Australia's bowlers are the world's fastest and they bowled very well."

In Napier, Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad fell seven short of his maiden World Cup hundred while Haris Sohail (70) and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq chipped in with 65 as the 1992 champions posted 339-6 on a flat McLean Park pitch.

They then restricted the UAE to 210-8 with Shaiman Anwar continuing his fine form by scoring 62, his third half century of the tournament.

The win gives Pakistan four points in as many games as they continued their fight for a place in the quarter-finals.

"That was a much needed win for us. We won by a margin so we can relax now. We have a good net run rate now also," said Misbah.

Shehzad and Sohail restored Pakistan with a second wicket stand of 160 after they lost out-of-form opener Nasir Jamshed for four in the fourth over.

Man of the match Shehzad hit eight boundaries and a six off 105 balls but ran himself out while taking a sharp single. Sohail clubbed five boundaries and a six.

Sohaib Maqsood helped Misbah add another rapid 75 for the fourth wicket, hitting four boundaries and two towering sixes during his 31-ball 45.

Misbah reached his 41st ODI half-century off just 39 balls. He hit four boundaries and two sixes before holing out off Guruge.

Shahid Afridi hit two sixes and a four in a seven-ball 21 not out and when on two became the fourth Pakistani, and 27th batsman in the world, to cross 8 000 runs.

Pakistan next play South Africa in Auckland (March 7) and Ireland in Adelaide (March 15) while UAE face South Africa in Wellington (March 12) and the West Indies in Napier (March 15).

Biggest one-day international winning margins in terms of runs after Australia beat Afghanistan in a World Cup Pool A match at the WACA in Perth on Wednesday (margin, team, opponents, venue, date):

290 - New Zealand v Ireland, Aberdeen Jul 01 2008
275 - Australia v Afghanistan (WC), Perth Mar 04 2015
272 - South Africa v Zimbabwe, Benoni Oct 22 2010
258 - South Africa v Sri Lanka, Paarl Jan 11 2012
257 - India v Bermuda (WC), Port-of-Spain Mar 19 2007
257 - South Africa v West Indies (WC) Sydney Feb 27 2015
256 - Australia v Namibia (WC), Potchefstroom Feb 27 2003
256 - India v Hong Kong Karachi Jun 25 2008
245 - Sri Lanka v India, Sharjah Oct 29 2000
243 - Sri Lanka v Bermuda (WC), Port-of-Spain Mar 15 2007

Note: WC = World Cup


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