TWO cricketing heavyweights to head-to-head in Taunton tomorrow (Wednesday) as Pakistan take on Australia at the County Ground.

The match is the second of the town's three 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup matches, the first having taken place on Saturday when New Zealand eased past Afghanistan by seven wickets.

Wednesday's match should, on paper at least, be more competitive - although Pakistan remain like the French rugby team (or a bag of Revels) in that you never quite know what you are going to get.

Their campaign so far has illustrated that fact. Rolled out for 105 in their opener against the West Indies, Pakistan bounced back to make 348 in a thrilling 14-run victory over hosts and tournament favourites England - their third match, against Sri Lanka on Friday, was washed out in Bristol.

Australia, meanwhile, sit fourth after two wins and a defeat from their opening three matches.

Having seen off Afghanistan and West Indies, Aaron Finch's men were comfortably beaten by India at The Oval on Sunday as they fell 36 runs short of chasing India's 352.

Australia's head coach is Justin Langer, who still holds the record for Somerset's all-time high score - his 342 against Surrey at Guildford in 2006.

He went on to enjoy three successful seasons as Somerset captain, leading the county to the Division 2 title in 2007 and helping the club establish themselves in Division 1 - where they have plied their trade ever since.

Players to watch

Steve Smith - Like him or loathe him, Smith remains an absolute class act.

He made a century against England in a warm-up match and comes into tomorrow's match off the back of consecutive scores of 69 and 73.

Virat Kohli urged India fans to stop booing Smith on Sunday but he received a hostile reception in Bristol in May - how will the Taunton crowd respond?

Babar Azam - A first look at Somerset's new T20 signing for the Taunton crowd.

He too comes into this game in excellent nick, having made 63 in the victory over England and 112 in a warm-up match against Afghanistan.

Could really whet the appetite for the Vitality Blast among the Somerset faithful if he gets going.

Pat Cummins - One of two genuine speedsters in the Aussie attack (Mitchell Starc is the other), Cummins has been held back by injury in his career so far but is now showing what he can do.

Capable of topping that magical 90mph mark, the 26-year-old has six wickets in three World Cup matches so far.

Hasan Ali - Both sides have mercurial left-arm pace bowlers - Starc is Australia's, and Hasan Ali is Pakistan's.

The 33-year-old is blessed with genuine speed but can be expensive - which one will turn up tomorrow?

Match facts

  • Tomorrow is the fifth men's ODI to be held at Taunton, and the first time Australia or Pakistan have played a men's ODI at the County Ground.
  • Australia have won 14 of their last 15 ODIs against Pakistan.
  • Both Nathan Coulter-Nile and Shadab Khan need one more wicket to reach 50 in ODIs.

Weather forecast

This week's World Cup fixtures have been ravaged by rain so far, with both Monday and Tuesday's matches abandoned.

The current Met Office forecast for Taunton tomorrow looks relatively promising - largely cloudy but with a 50% chance of rain at around 4pm.

There should then, fingers crossed, be some cricket played tomorrow -

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for the full forecast.