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Mitchell Starc thunders in to save Australia’s misfiring batsmen again

David Warner and Aaron Finch lay platform for a huge score but middle order’s failure to capitalise leaves Starc with work to do

For the second time in two World Cup wins, Mitchell Starc was the saviour for Australia. At Taunton on Wednesday, Pakistan had looked to have no chance to chase 308 when they slipped to 160 for six but from there the lower-order resistance from the captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and his big-hitting bowlers Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz had built momentum. By the time Pakistan needed 54 from 48 balls, with Wahab well set on 39, it felt irresistible.

Enter Starc, first tying things up with a tight over conceding three runs, then bursting past Wahab with pace to draw the faintest nick that was picked up on a review. Pace again did for the more than adept Mohammad Amir to force an edge on to the batsman’s stumps. Starc finished with two for 43 and the match swung from nearly lost to nearly won in the space of four balls.

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