Calcutta: A spectacular batting implosion by New Zealand against Australia’s bowlers saw them crash to a massive 56-run defeat in what was the first warm-up fixture for both teams ahead of the World Twenty20.
The early blows for Australia were struck by the pacemen, with Brad Hogg then taking three for 23 to help bowl New Zealand out for 83. The New Zealand batsmen haven’t been convincing against spinners or pacers of late, and the latest outing wouldn’t have given them any reassurance.
Only Ross Taylor (22 off 20), Doug Bracewell (10 not out off 8) and Kane Williamson (17 off 33) reached double figures for New Zealand, who got off to a nightmare start, being reduced to 8 for three in the third over after Australia had made 139 for six.
Shane Watson, Clint McKay and Pat Cummins struck in the first three overs respectively, as New Zealand never recovered from its start.
Earlier, Australia’s innings progressed in fits and starts after it was put in to bat, with David Warner providing the early fireworks. Warner hit 24 off 14 balls, but after his departure, the run-rate slowed with Daniel Vettori, Adam Milne and Nathan McCullum controlling the middle-overs well for New Zealand.
A late flourish by Matthew Wade and Daniel Christian saw 42 runs scored in the final four overs, which eventually proved too much for New Zealand.
In another warm-up match, Zimbabwe went down to Bangladesh while Sri Lanka A fell well short of Afghanistan’s standards
Bangladesh and Afghanistan put up solid performances against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka A respectively.
Coming off a demoralising loss to Ireland in their opening warm-up fixture, Zimbabwe put up a better show against Bangladesh, but it wasn’t enough to give them a much-needed win.
Australia 139/6 in 20 ovs (S. Watson 27; A. Milne 2/ 27). New Zealand 83 in 17 ovs (B. Hogg 3/ 23); Australia won by 56 runs
Zimbabwe 134/6 in 20 ovs (V. Sibanda 40; A. Razzak 2/21). Bangladesh 135/5 in 18.2 ovs (M. Ashraful 38); Bangladesh won by 5 wickets.
Afghanistan 209/7 in 20 ovs (M. Nabi 51, A. Stanikzai 50). Sri Lanka A 158 in 18.2 ovs (K. Kulasekara 63; D. Zadran 3/22)
Afghanistan won by 51 runs.