David Warner and Mohammad Amir have shone brightly for their team with their individual brilliance in Taunton Wednesday
The first innings between Australia and Pakistan saw some brilliant action-packed cricket as the former started strongly with the bat and the latter finished equally strong with the ball.
The first innings however, was certainly more significant for two particular players to give the perfect riposte to their critics.
Those players are David Warner of Australia and Mohammad Amir from Pakistan.
Both shone in their own way and perhaps gave a good statement to their critics, and also provided food for thought to their opponents that they are close to finding their best form.
Warner scored a well-constructed 107-run innings off 111 deliveries with 11 boundaries.
The former Australian vice-captain’s career and reputation took a nosedive when he was charged for the infamous “Sandpapergate – ball tampering scandal”, and later banned by Cricket Australia for a year for his involvement in the incident in 2018.
After his ban term finished, Warner returned to competitive cricket, playing a few matches in the Bangladesh Premier League T20.
He later played a full season in the Indian Premier League T20 before finally being selected for the Australia World Cup squad.
But his spot in the playing XI was not certain as opener Aaron Finch got the captaincy and Usman Khawaja enjoyed a tremendous run of form just before the Word Cup.
Warner has a lot to prove in this World Cup and he started with an impressive 89 not out against Afghanistan.
He got out early against the West Indies for three, and scored a half-century against India chasing 353.
But his 56-run innings off 84 deliveries against India drew criticism as Australia eventually fell 36 short of the target.
But in Wednesday's match, Warner showed his class with a brilliant hundred.
The century maybe not have been a destructive one but two fifties and a hundred in his first four World Cup innings so far means Warner is getting back to his best.
And that’s exactly one thing Australia will bank on if they want to successfully defend the World Cup.
Mohammad Amir conceded just one boundary in his 10 overs spell and none off his last 41 balls. 10-2-30-5 is the most economical ten-over spell by a Pakistan pacer in four years. #AusvPak— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) June 12, 2019
And as for Amir, the Pakistan pace prodigy has suffered many ups and downs in his career.
His career is like a suspense drama serial, or a roller coaster ride, as he had started his career superbly and soon became a new sensation, before being caught and punished for match-fixing.
He returned to international cricket with a bang, performed brilliantly for Pakistan in the Champions Trophy in 2017 and helped them to win the trophy.
He suddenly lost his form after the Champions Trophy and the horrible run of form continued before he was finally selected for the Pakistan World Cup squad.
Pakistan great Inzamam-ul-Haq, the current national selector, and the selection panel had to face a lot of criticism for selecting Amir in place of a few in-form pacers.
It's game on at Taunton!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 12, 2019
Australia looked set for a mammoth total thanks to David Warner's century, but Mohammad Amir's five-wicket haul sees the batting side bowled out for 307. #AUSvPAK LIVE 👇 https://t.co/eEmVwQQPYP pic.twitter.com/jN5CEq4YmY
But Amir has proved his worth and importance for the Pakistan team in this tournament with an impressive display so far.
In Wednesday's game, despite a strong start from the Australian top-order, Amir was brilliant in his first two spells and conceded only 20 odd runs in seven overs with two important wickets.
He also bowled superbly in the death overs and finished his bowling figure picking up five wickets giving just 30 runs with two maidens from his quota of 10 overs, whereas every other bowler leaked more than six runs per over in the relatively small ground at Taunton County Ground.
Warner and Amir have shone brightly for their team with their individual brilliance in Taunton Wednesday.
There is still a long way to go in the tournament and these two need to perform consistently to give their team glory, but such performances will definitely boost their confidence even more, making them hungry to achieve more, which will eventually be more entertaining for fans and spectators all over the world.
AUSTRALIA INNINGS R B
Finch c Hafeez b Amir 82 84
Warner c Imam b Shaheen 107 111
Smith c Asif b Hafeez 10 13
Maxwell b Shaheen 20 10
Shaun c Malik b Amir 23 26
Khawaja c Wahab b Amir 18 16
Carey lbw b Amir 20 21
Coulter-Nile c Sarfaraz b Wahab 2 3
Cummins c Sarfaraz b Hasan 2 6
Starc c Malik b Amir 3 6
Richardson not out 1 1
Extras (lb 10, nb 3, w 6) 19
Total (49 Overs) 307
Fall Of Wickets
1-146 (Finch), 2-189 (Smith), 3-223 (Maxwell), 4-242 (Warner), 5-277 (Khawaja), 6-288 (Shaun), 7-299 (Coulter-Nile), 8-302 (Cummins), 9-304 (Carey), 10-307 (Starc)
Amir 10-2-30-5, Shaheen 10-0-70-2, Hasan 10-0-67-1, Wahab 8-0-44-1, Hafeez 7-0-60-1, Malik 4-0-26-0
PAKISTAN INNINGS R B
Imam c Carey b Cummins 53 75
Fakhar c Richardson b Cummins 0 3
Babar c Richardson b Coulter-Nile 30 28
Hafeez c Starc b Finch 46 49
Sarfaraz run out (Maxwell) 40 48
Malik c Carey b Cummins 0 2
Asif c Carey b Richardson 5 8
Hasan c Khawaja b Richardson 32 15
Wahab c Carey b Starc 45 39
Amir b Starc 0 2
Shaheen not out 1 6
Extras (lb 4, nb 1, w 9) 14
Total (45.4 Overs) 266 all out
Fall Of Wickets
1-2 (Fakhar), 2-56 (Babar), 3-136 (Imam), 4-146 (Hafeez), 5-147 (Malik), 6-160 (Asif), 7-200 (Hasan), 8-264 (Wahab), 9-265 (Amir), 10-266 (Sarfaraz)
Cummins 10-0-33-3, Starc 9-1-43-2, Richardson 8.4-0-62-2, Coulter-Nile 9-0-53-1, Maxwell 7-0-58-0, Finch 2-0-13-1
Australia won by 41 runs
MoM: David Warner