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Warner hails family after first Aussie ton since ban

 

Century boy: David Warner celebrates hitting a ton in Australia’s win
Century boy: David Warner celebrates hitting a ton in Australia’s win

By Ed Elliot

David Warner smashed his first international century since returning from a ball-tampering ban to lay the foundations for Australia's 41-run World Cup win over Pakistan at Taunton.

The left-handed opener, who served a 12-month suspension for his part in the sandpaper scandal against South Africa in March 2018, hit 107 off 111 balls as his side finished 307 all out.

Mohammad Amir's five for 30 and Imam-ul-Haq's assured half-century threatened to derail the champions' bid to bounce back from Sunday's defeat to India.

But Pakistan eventually fell short as their chase ended on 266 all out with 26 balls remaining, partly due to Pat Cummins' three for 33.

Australia captain Aaron Finch, who also impressed with a knock of 82, had backed Warner to return to his "dangerous best" in the build-up to the match.

The 32-year-old justified his skipper's faith in style, hitting 11 fours and a six and punching the air to celebrate his ton.

"I played the way I know I can play, which was awesome," said Warner. "It's great to be back and part of the team. I was always coming back - if selected."

He was also eager to acknowledge the support of his family and wife Candice

"She's been my rock," he said. "The thing that kept me going was my wife and my kids - great support at home, my family.

"My wife is just my rock, she's unbelievable, she's determined, disciplined, selfless and I hold a lot of credit to her. She's a strong woman and she got me out of bed a lot in those first 12 weeks, got me back running and training as hard as I could and prepared for the other formats of the game that I was playing.

"It was just to maintain my level of fitness and hard work and she really nailed that into me.

"To come out here and play the way I know I can play was awesome. I was elated. It was a bit of relief in a way."

Warner's opening partnership of 146 with Finch was also the highest of the competition so far.

Their impressive alliance surpassed the 142-run stand between Bangladesh duo Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in the victory over South Africa.

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed reflected: "I'm very disappointed. We lost three wickets in 15 balls and that's why we lost.

"We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs apart from Mohammad Amir.

"We came back and restricted them well but it was a 270-280 pitch.

"We made some runs and got starts but we've got to convert them and go long. If you want to win matches your top four must score runs."

Following a World Cup record three games rained off in five days, the International Cricket Council would have been relieved to see dry, albeit cold and cloudy, conditions in Somerset.

Pakistan were back in action for the first time since upsetting hosts England after being frustrated by Friday's washout against the West Indies.

They wore black armbands in respect of the recent deaths of former batsman Akhtar Sarfraz and Test umpire Riazuddin.

Meanwhile, Ross Taylor admitted New Zealand may need to be quick to adapt if the inclement weather leads to a delay or shortened fixture against India at Trent Bridge.

The Black Caps, who have started the World Cup with three victories from as many games, could welcome back experienced seamer Tim Southee following his recovery from a calf injury.

Whether he makes his first appearance of the tournament may depend on the conditions, with rain in Nottingham preventing New Zealand from training outdoors yesterday.

The forecast for today does not look promising but Taylor insists the Kiwis will be prepared for whatever the elements throw up.

"We haven't seen the wicket," Taylor said. "We'll have to wait and see.

"Everyone will be prepared to play. There's a full 15 to choose from.

"I guess we can't look too far ahead, but there are different permutations, a different balance of squad if the weather does play a part, whether it's a reduced game or a 50-over game.

"That's something the coach and captain will have to decide at the time, but we haven't made a decision on our final XI."

Rain has led to the abandonment of three fixtures in the space of five days and Taylor admitted New Zealand are braced for their share of bad fortune.

He added: "I said at the start of the tournament that luck is going to play a part.

"With the weather, England is a beautiful place, but it's not famous for good weather.

"I'm sure there are going to be rained out games that could affect us along the way. In saying that, there have been times where forecasts have been wrong. Hopefully tomorrow is one."

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