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AFP
June 13, 2019

Amir on top of world despite Pakistan defeat

Top Story

AFP
June 13, 2019

TAUNTON: Pace spearhead Mohammad Amir soaked up the adulation from Pakistan fans as he roared to the top of the World Cup bowling charts with career-best figures against Australia on Wednesday.

With the crowd chanting "Amir, Amir, Shabash" (come on) from the stands in Taunton, he delivered two maiden overs in his first spell as Australia openers Aaron Finch and David Warner played and missed. Amir conceded just 11 runs off his opening four overs and then returned to snare Australia captain Finch before taking the wickets of Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc.

Now he is back with a bang, taking five for 30 in his 10 overs to improve on his previous best figures of 4-28 against Sri Lanka a decade ago. His efforts helped peg Australia back to 307 but that ultimately proved too much for Pakistan, who lost wickets consistently during their reply to slip to a 41-run loss -- their second defeat of the World Cup.

Australia century-maker Warner hailed Amir, describing his second spell as "fantastic". Amir´s haul against Australia took him to 10 wickets for the tournament after three matches at an average of 12.30 and an impressive economy rate of 4.73.

Last week Amir said how he was thankful he was for the backing of Pakistan´s passionate supporters. "It´s really amazing, I mean the crowd support," Amir said. "We have so many Pakistani fans at all England grounds and when they shout my name it pumps me up." Amir was left out of Pakistan´s preliminary squad for the World Cup but he made it into the final 15 and has proved his worth from the start of the tournament in England and Wales.

His World Cup debut was a rare Pakistan highlight after they slumped to 105 all out against the West Indies, with Amir taking 3-26 in a seven-wicket loss at Trent Bridge. He was among the wickets again at Trent Bridge, but this time in a winning cause, with 2-67 as Pakistan shocked tournament favourites England last week.

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