A magnificent display of batting by David Warner and Mitchell Marsh propelled Australia to an imposing total of 367 for 9, while Pakistan's valiant efforts with the bat fell short at 305. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa played a pivotal role for Australia, claiming four crucial wickets.
Australia's World Cup campaign received a significant boost thanks to the breathtaking performances of Warner, who notched his 21st ODI century, and Marsh, who secured his second. The Australian opening duo combined for a remarkable partnership, accumulating 259 runs in just 203 deliveries. This achievement marked only the fourth instance in World Cup history where both openers recorded centuries in the same match.
Australia was in dire need of a dominant showing to rebuild their confidence after three lukewarm performances in the tournament, which resulted in two defeats and one win. They delivered with a resounding performance.
The only hiccup in their commanding display came from left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who secured a five-wicket haul (5/54). His exceptional performance served as a reminder of the potential impact that other Pakistan bowlers could have made with better strategies.
Warner and Marsh exhibited their dominance against a Pakistan bowling attack that struggled to find direction on the smooth M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch. The quick outfield further added value to their shots. Pakistan's deliveries were either too full, too short, or strayed onto the leg side, providing opportunities for the Australian batsmen to capitalize on the freebies.
The course of the match could have been different for Pakistan if Usama Mir, who replaced Shadab Khan, had held onto a straightforward catch from Warner off Afridi. Warner had just reached 10 runs in Australia's total of 22.
Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, introduced Haris Rauf into the attack in the ninth over, hoping for a breakthrough. However, Australia accelerated their scoring from that over. Rauf was hit for 24 runs in his first over, with Warner starting the onslaught with a four and a six, and Marsh concluding it with three consecutive fours.
After that, Australia's run rate rarely dipped below seven runs per over for the rest of the innings. Despite Pakistan trying their spinners, Mir and Mohammad Nawas, they made no impact, serving up predictable deliveries that Warner and Marsh easily dispatched.
Australia reached 100 in the 13th over, 200 in the 30th over, and 300 in the 41st over as they continued their relentless march. Warner achieved his century, the fourth consecutive one against Pakistan in ODIs, and celebrated with his trademark jump-and-punch celebration. Marsh, celebrating his birthday, soon joined him in reaching a century, roaring in triumph.
Marsh was eventually dismissed when his flick off Afridi was caught by Mir at short fine leg. This rare occurrence for a Pakistan fielder to hold onto a catch came on a day when they dropped three catches and committed numerous fumbles on the field. However, he departed after helping Warner create the second-best opening partnership in World Cups, following the 282-run partnership between Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga in 2011.
After Marsh's dismissal, Pakistan managed to pick up quick wickets, taking eight of them for 108 runs to keep Australia's total below 400. Nonetheless, 369 remained a formidable target. Pakistan displayed fearlessness and efficiency in their chase.
Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique, Pakistan's openers, put on a partnership of 134 runs in 127 balls. Imam reached his first fifty of the tournament with crisp shots and precise timing, while Shafique continued his fine form after replacing the injured Fakhar Zaman.
Both batsmen received reprieves, with Imam dropped on 48 by Pat Cummins off Glenn Maxwell, and Shafique given a lifeline by substitute Sean Abbot off Cummins at 27. However, Marcus Stoinis, who injected bounce into his deliveries, dismissed both Imam and Shafique in quick succession, and leg-spinner Zampa claimed the prized wicket of Babar.
Despite Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel's efforts to stabilize Pakistan's innings, Australia applied consistent pressure in the middle overs, resulting in Zampa dismissing both Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed with tricky deliveries that led to leg-before dismissals. These wickets dashed Pakistan's hopes of a miraculous comeback.