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Thursday, March 5, 2015, Falgun 21, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 13, 1436 Hijr

Record-breaking Australia rout Afghanistan by 275 runs
Published : Thursday, 5 March, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 17
Perth, Mar 4: Australia hit the highest World Cup score in tournament history on Wednesday as they thrashed Afghanistan by a record 275 runs, a result which was also the greatest winning margin in tournament history.
The home team made 417-6 at the WACA led by opener David Warner's 178-run blitz, his fourth one-day international century and his country's highest individual World Cup score as the four-time champions went past the previous best of 413-5 made by India against Bermuda in 2007.
It was the third 400-plus total at this World Cup after South Africa twice went through the barrier -- 408-5 against the West Indies and 411-4 in the game with Ireland.
In reply, Afghanistan could manage just 142 from 37.3 overs, although Nawroz Mangal, who top-scored with 33, gave their smattering of fans at the ground something to cheer about when he hit Mitchell Marsh for successive sixes.
Johnson did much of the damage to claim 4-22 from 7.3 overs.
Fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc continued his amazing vein of World Cup form with 2-18 and has 10 wickets in the World Cup at just 9.3 runs apiece.
Australia were sent in to bat by Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi, a decision greeted by a chorus of cheers from the crowd, and then tormented the minnows.
There was a surprise at the toss, with experienced all-rounder Shane Watson dropped to allow James Faulkner to return after a side strain, but the onslaught that followed was extremely predictable.
The dashing Warner led the way and accelerated markedly after reaching three figures from 92 balls.
Dropped on 114, the left-hander seemed set to compound Watson's misery by passing his Australian ODI record of 185 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011 only to sky a delivery to mid-on from the bowling of Shapoor Zadran (2-89).
He had faced 133 balls, hitting 19 fours and five sixes.
Warner's assault on the hapless Afghan bowlers brought back memories of Matthew Hayden plundering a weak Zimbabwe attack for an Australian Test record 380 at the same venue in 2003.
Although Warner fell shy of the overall ODI individual record, he passed the previous mark for the highest innings by an Australian at the WACA, which previously belonged to Damien Martyn for his 144 against Zimbabwe in 2001.
Warner and Steve Smith, who made 95, also set a new benchmark for an Australian partnership in ODI cricket with their 260-run second-wicket stand from 209 balls.
The pair passed the previous record of 252 set by Watson and Ricky Ponting against England in South Africa in 2009.
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell then chimed in with a quickfire 88 off 39 balls, including seven sixes, before being well caught at mid-off from the bowling of Dawlat Zadran (2-101) in the 48th over.
Australia face Sri Lanka at the SCG in their next match on Sunday, while things don't get any easier for Afghanistan as they face unbeaten New Zealand on the same day at Napier in a bid to add to their lone win against Scotland. AFP

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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