World Cup 3rd Quarter-Final: Australia vs Pakistan at Adelaide
Australia are deserved strong favourites to move into the semi finals given their home ground advantage and dominant recent record against Pakistan. Over the past five years, Australia have a 14-3 win-loss record against them in ODIs and many of their contests have been one-sided affairs. Pakistan have, however, discovered some form at the perfect time. They had a shocking start to the tournament, with heavy losses to India and the West Indies, before rebounding robustly to win their next four matches. Reliant for many years on their spin bowlers, Pakistan have been pace-centric at this World Cup and it has worked for them. Australia’s only slip up at the tournament was prompted by quality fast bowling, when they were routed by New Zealand. On an Adelaide Oval pitch which has been fast and bouncy in recent matches, both sides will be leaning on their fast men to blast the opposition out. Pakistan are the most unpredictable side in world cricket, capable of surging from the wonderful to the woeful in a matter of minutes. If they fire, they can cause a major upset in this match. But the more consistent and settled Australians should exploit home conditions to earn a semi-final berth.
Pakistan’s quicks vs Australia’s openers:
Australia are yet to put together a single good opening stand at this World Cup. Aaron Finch and David Warner both have scored one ton and not much else. Regardless, Australia’s batting has flourished. If Finch and Warner give Australia a strong platform from which to launch, their explosive middle-to-late order may well run amok. Pakistan have the pace unit to trouble Finch and Warner though. The express pace of left armer Wahab Riaz and the canny swing of Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali will pose major threats to the Australians.