World Cup warm-up: Batsmen make merry as Australia edge Pakistan

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell (left) with teammate Cameron Green celebrates after scoring a half-century during the warm-up match against Pakistan at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: AFP/Noah Seelam

Bengaluru: Pakistan batsman Babar Azam scored a breezy 90 against Australia while Iftikhar Ahmed sparkled at the top of the order with an 83 but the 1992 world champions could not prevent a 14-run defeat in their World Cup warm-up game in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The Australian batsmen also enjoyed a good outing earlier, as Glenn Maxwell (77), Cameron Green (50 not out), Josh Inglis (48), David Warner (48) and Marnus Labuschagne (40) all fired and helped the five-times champions post 351-7 in 50 overs.

Babar was the pick of the Pakistani batsmen during the chase smashing 11 fours and two sixes on a batsman-friendly wicket but he retired after facing 59 balls and the Asian side ran out of steam despite a classy 50 by Mohammad Nawaz late on.

Pakistan folded up for 337 to hand Australia the victory, but both teams will be pleased with their batsmen heading into the showpiece tournament that gets underway on Thursday.

"The result is not important," said Pakistan's stand-in skipper Shadab Khan. "We took a lot of positives. Our attitude was good. The result not in our hands.

"I think our 11 is sorted, we wanted to give time to the bench to show their skills. When you play against Australia and New Zealand, you get confidence."
Pakistan face the Netherlands on Friday.

Pakistan's Babar Azam plays a shot during a warm-up match against Australia ahead of the ICC men’s cricket World Cup at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: AFP/Noah Seelam

Australian skipper Pat Cummins said he was pleased with his side ahead of their opener against India on Sunday.

"We're looking in better frame. Mitchell Marsh bowled well, same with Maxwell and Mitchell Starc," Cummins said.

"Just about everyone contributed in the middle, Green and Inglis were brilliant at the end."

Gurbaz shines for Afghans

Wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz's unbeaten 119 helped Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by six wickets via DLS method in another warm-up match in Guwahati.

Earlier, the contest between India and the Netherlands was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain at Thiruvananthapuram and denied the hosts a workout before their tournament opener.

India's clash against defending champions England had also suffered the same fate last week, but Rohit Sharma's side will be high on confidence having recently beaten Australia in a three-match series.

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