Cricket: Australia hit record 417 to hammer Afghanistan as Pakistan see off UAE

SYDNEY (AFP) - Merciless Australia hit the highest-ever World Cup score on Wednesday when they piled-up 417-6 in a record 275-run triumph over Afghanistan, as Pakistan cruised to a 129-run win against the United Arab Emirates.

At the Waca ground in Perth, four-time champions Australia went past the previous World Cup best of 413-5 made by India against Bermuda in 2007, before dismissing Afghanistan for just 142.

It was the third 400-plus total in the last six days after South Africa twice went through the barrier - 408-5 against the West Indies and 411-4 in the game with Ireland.

David Warner made Australia's highest World Cup individual score of 178, beating the 158 of Matthew Hayden against West Indies at Antigua in 2007.

He was just seven short of Shane Watson's national record in all ODIs of 185 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011.

Warner's 260-run second-wicket partnership with Steve Smith, who went on to make 95, was also an Australian ODI record, beating the 252 of Ricky Ponting and Watson against England at Centurion in 2009.

Glenn Maxwell hit a rapid 88 off just 39 balls with six fours and seven sixes on another record-shattering day which will surely prompt more calls for an overhaul of the regulations which many believe are too heavily-weighted in favour of batsmen.

In reply, Afghanistan could manage just 142 from 37.3 overs, although Nawroz Mangal, who top-scored with 33, gave their smattering of fans something to cheer when he hit Mitchell Marsh for successive sixes.

Mitchell Johnson did much of the damage to claim 4-22 from 7.3 overs while fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc continued his amazing vein of World Cup form with 2-18 and has 10 wickets in the event at just 9.3 runs apiece.

"David Warner was excellent and the way the others played around him - Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell - was unbelievable. The way we bowled set a good standard for ourselves. Overall, it was much improved from our display against New Zealand."

Australia, who went into the game on the back of a one-wicket loss to New Zealand, an opening win over England and a no-result washout against Bangladesh, now have five points in Pool A and are well set for the quarter-finals.

Afghanistan have three defeats to a single win over fellow non-Test team Scotland.

"It's a good experience and Australia played very well, especially Warner and Smith," said Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi. "Australia's bowlers are the world's fastest and they bowled very well."

In Napier, Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad fell seven short of his maiden World Cup hundred while Haris Sohail (70) and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq chipped in with 65 as the 1992 champions posted 339-6 on a flat McLean Park pitch.

They then restricted the UAE to 210-8, with Shaiman Anwar continuing his fine form by scoring 62, his third half century of the tournament.

The win gives Pakistan four points in as many games in Pool B as they continued their fight for a place in the quarter-finals.

Pakistan next play South Africa in Auckland (March 7) and Ireland in Adelaide (March 15), while the UAE face South Africa in Wellington (March 12) and the West Indies in Napier (March 15).

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