Aussie top order undone by spin yet again in final T20 World Cup warm-up

Australia fell to a thumping eight-wicket defeat to India in their final Twenty20 World Cup warm-up match.

Aaron Finch’s team never recovered from a bad start in which they were reduced to 3-11. Though Steve Smith, with a 48-ball 57, enabled them to reach 5-152 India cruised to the target with more than two overs to spare, as Australia dismissed only one batsman.

Underlining the status of the match India used seven bowlers, including Virat Kohli, and Australia eight, while India’s Rohit Sharma also retired when he reached 60 to provide batting practice for team-mates.

Nevertheless, the one-sided nature of the match will have been a concern for Australia only three days before the start of the tournament.

Australia had begun poorly with David Warner leg before to Ravi Ashwin for a seven-ball one and Mitchell Marsh perishing next ball for a duck. When Finch fell to Ravindra Jadeja for eight Australia were 3-11 off 19 balls.

Smith and Glenn Maxwell rebuilt the innings adding 61 in 53 balls before the latter was bowled for 37 off 28 balls.

Marcus Stoinis, who hit the innings’ only six in an unbeaten 41, then helped Smith double the score with Australia scoring 58 off the last five overs.

Though Smith fell off the penultimate ball Matthew Wade hit his only delivery for four to carry Australia past 150.

When they bowled it took 12 overs for Australia to make a breakthrough, Ashton Agar having KL Rahul caught at long-off by Warner in the 12th over.

That, however, was the only wicket taken.

Rohit’s 60 took 41 balls, Suryakumar Yadav made an unbeaten 38 off 27 balls, and Hardik Pandya finished the innings with a six off Kane Richardson to tally 14 off eight.

It was hardly the result Australia needed before they open their campaign against South Africa in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

In another warm-up match England defeated New Zealand by 13 runs. England made 6-163 with Jos Buttler scoring 73.

The Kiwis, having been 9-103, were finally dismissed in the final over for 150 with Mark Wood taking 4-23 and Adil Rashid 3-18.

Opener Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with 41 off 20 balls.


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