Wednesday, 04 March 2015 - 16:35
Warner, Maxwell push Australia to highest WC total
David Warner smashed 178, the highest individual score by an Australia batsman in World Cups.
Australia's 417/6 is the highest World Cup score.
Afghanistan weren't the ones to be blamed for Australia's loss away to New Zealand, but they were at the receiving end of a brutal assault from David Warner, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell, who combined to take them to a monstrous 417 for 6 at the WACA ground on Wednesday, the highest total in World Cup history. Plenty of records were set but Australia would have been happier about an improved batting display without Michael Clarke, who chose to send other batsmen ahead of him.
Despite an encouraging start from the Afghanistan pace trio, Australia surged to the highest ODI total at home, with David Warner scoring his fourth ODI hundred and narrowly missing out on a double even though there were plenty of overs left. Warner and Smith added 260 for the second wicket - Australia's best partnership in ODIs - after Aaron Finch was removed early, but the feature of their partnership was the frenetic pace at which the runs came.
After a modest start, Warner picked up the intensity of his innings and raced away to 50 off 40, 100 off 92 and 150 off 116 before finally falling to Shapoor Zadran for 178 from 133 balls, the third-highest individual score for Australia in ODIs. Initial exchanges saw Zadran beat Warner's bat which he followed up with cold stares, and before he was out in the 38th over, the Australian opener had taken the bowler with the long hair and longer run-up for four sixes in two overs.
While Warner and Smith picked gaps with ease and the former benefitted from a reprieve on 114, runs continued to come thick and fast, with 109 coming between overs 31 and 41. The last ten overs went for 118 as Maxwell clubbed 88 from just 39 balls, and one of his seven sixes also featured a reverse-swept effort off Shapoor. Smith missed a century when he was out for 95, but would have been happier for being among the runs after twin failures against England and New Zealand.
The Zadrans - Shapoor and Dawlat returned to bag a couple of wickets each but both bowlers combined to give away 190 runs from their 20 overs. The WACA's pace only allowed the Australian batsmen to score quicker, and Afghanistan missed the middle-overs expertise of Mirwais Ashraf, who had earlier returned home after suffering a side strain.
Brief scores: Australia 417 for 6 (David Warner 178, Steven Smith 95, Glenn Maxwell 88, Shapoor Zadran 2/89) vs Afghanistan (Cricbuzz)