Australian opener David Warner said the century against Pakistan, in Taunton, on Wednesday “means a lot” to him as a batsman. It was the batsman’s first hundred after coming back from the year-long ball-tampering ban.

Conditions were testing at the Cooper Associates Ground with Mohammad Amir swinging the ball both ways, but Warner played him cautiously while selectively targeting the other bowlers. The four innings that the batsman has batted in the World cup so far has been different from his characteristics where he has started steadily and accelerated in the later part of the innings. However, it has brought him and his team joy and it was riding on his century that Australia defeated Pakistan.

“There was a bit of movement early on, so I had to be a lot tighter. This century means a lot as a batsman. Some great efforts from Pakistan. Our bowlers were fantastic but it was a great game,” said the highest run-scorer for his team in the showpiece event so far. Australia were cruising after Warner and Aaron Finch scripted a 146-run partnership for the first wicket. But, Amir bowled a brilliant second spell to get his first five-for in ODI cricket as Australia lost their last eight wickets in just 84 runs.

“When I got out, we had 70 balls to go. As a batter, you want to bat 50 overs. We should’ve been around 340-350, credit to Pakistan’s bowlers. Their second spells were outstanding and they made it hard for us. It was a used wicket; it was a tad dry and they bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width,” Man of the Match Warner added.

However, the Aaron Finch-led side had no problem in registering their third victory in four matches as they restricted Pakistan for 266. Few of the top order batsmen threw their wickets after getting a start and by the time the slog overs started the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side had an everest to climb. However, the exploits of Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali down the order could mean some relief for the team management.

(With inputs from IANS)