ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Warner punishes Pakistan with high-class hundred
Opener hits his first century following return from ban to lead Australia's charge to big World Cup total
Louis Cameron at The County Ground, Taunton
12 June 2019, 10:07 PM AEST
An emotional David Warner has scored his first century since returning from his 12-month ban from international cricket, conquering a lively Taunton pitch to lead a dominant Australian batting display in their World Cup clash with Pakistan.
Warner's trademark leaping celebration was back after the opener reached triple-figures off 102 balls, gesturing animatedly to the Australian dressing room and kissing his helmet before looking to the heavens.
It was his first ODI century since September 2017, and Australia's first at the tournament, and comes four international games into his return from his suspension.
He brought it up with an edge between first slip and keeper, one of the few missteps he made in a composed innings.
His 15th ODI century puts him just one ton away from drawing level with Adam Gilchrist among Australia's most prolific ton-makers. Ricky Ponting (29) tops the list ahead of Mark Waugh (18) and Gilchrist (16).
Across all formats, he's now level with Michael Clarke on 36 international centuries, the fourth-most by an Australian. That list is also topped by Ponting, who scored 70 Test and ODI tons combined.
It was the third fifty-plus total at this World Cup for Warner, but the opener had previously struggled for the kind of fluency he displayed in a dominant recent Indian Premier League run.
His opening partner and captain Aaron Finch had suggested he was slowly finding his feet again in international cricket after a 14-month absence and he was proved right on Wednesday.
The 146-run opening stand between Warner and Finch, who made 82 off 84 balls, was the biggest partnership scored so far at this World Cup.
He was dropped on 104 at third man an over after he'd reached triple-figures, before skying another one to finally depart to Shaheen Afridi for 107 off 111 deliveries.
After Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field first, the pair were forced to see off a challenging opening spell from Mohammad Amir.
But, even during a captivating duel between Wahab Riaz and Finch, the runs flowed freely as the Australian openers took advantage of some wayward bowling and sloppy fielding.
Warner looked the more composed of the duo, turning the strike over expertly and springing between the wickets in trademark fashion on the way to a 51-ball half-century.
Finch motored ahead after the introduction of spin, with Warner happy to play second fiddle to the Victorian who carted Mohammad Hafeez for three sixes before perishing trying to do the same when Amir was reintroduced.
The left-armer twice went past Warner's outside edge and survived an lbw review, but the left-hander continued his charge towards triple figures.
In the lead-in to the match, Finch had tipped Warner to find his rhythm against Pakistan.
"Every evidence suggests he'll be back to his dangerous best," Finch said on Tuesday. "It might be just a little mindset change with Davey … I know he's been working a bit with JL (coach Justin Langer) and Punter (Ricky Ponting) to just make sure he's in the right mindframe.
"Remember, he was out of the game for 14 months and at the international level.
"Regardless of how good a player you are, it's just going to take a little bit of time, especially as an opening batter to find the pace of the game again."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
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For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE