Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Australia secured their place in the T20 World Cup Super 8s as they bowled Namibia out for 72 on their way to a thumping nine-wicket win in Antigua.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa took 4-12 to reach a century of T20 international wickets, while Josh Hazlewood and Marcus Stoinis claimed two apiece.

After dismissing Namibia in 17 overs, with only two batters reaching double figures, the Australia top order ruthlessly knocked off the runs inside the powerplay.

Travis Head finished unbeaten on 34 from 17 balls and captain Mitchell Marsh hit the winning runs with two balls left of the sixth over.

Victory took Australia above Scotland to the top of Group B, with the two sides playing each other in St Lucia on Sunday.

A win for Scotland would eliminate defending champions England, who first need to beat Oman and Namibia handsomely to have any chance of progressing.

South Africa qualified for the Super 8s after Sri Lanka’s match against Nepal in Lauderhill, Florida, was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain.

The result does not end Sri Lanka’s hopes of a top-two finish in Group D, but they require a highly unlikely sequence of results – including a washout when Bangladesh face the Netherlands on Thursday – to go through.

Zampa brings up 100 as Australia march on
This was just about as clinical as it gets from Australia as, following their 50-over World Cup triumph in India last year, they continued their bid to become double world champions.

Left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Starc was rested but that did not stop them seizing control of the match in the opening powerplay.

Two wickets for Hazlewood and one for Pat Cummins left Namibia 17-3 after six overs, while skipper Gerhard Erasmus took 17 balls to get off the mark.

Erasmus recovered to make a 43-ball 36 but found no support as the Australia bowlers relentlessly tore through the middle and lower order.

Zampa was at the heart of it and a lovely googly to bowl Bernard Scholtz gave him his fourth wicket of the game and his 100th in T20Is.

The 32-year-old is the first men’s player to reach the landmark for Australia and third overall after Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt.

Once Stoinis wrapped up the innings, it was over to the batters and they were in no mood to hang around.

David Warner had 20 from his first seven balls before falling to David Wiese in the second over.

Head and Marsh took up the mantle and, after 11 fours and four sixes, Australia finished the job with 86 balls to spare.

England will likely need to show similar ruthlessness in their next two games if they are to join Australia in the Super 8s.

If not, they may be reliant on a repeat performance from Marsh’s team against Scotland.

‘You can’t sit back against the best in the world’ – reaction
Australia captain Mitchell Marsh: “A great performance from our bowling team. All-round a very professional performance.

“It’s great to qualify for the Super 8s. We get pretty busy after our game against Scotland so we’ll manage as many people as we can over the next few days.

“Over the last four or five years, [Zampa] is probably our most important player in terms of how we structure up. He loves the big moment, loves the pressure. He’s bowling beautifully and we’re lucky to have him.”

Namibia captain Gerhard Erasmus: “You can’t sit back against the best in the world – that’s one thing we’ve learned from tonight.

“The skill gap is perhaps there but you can close that a little bit by fighting fire with fire and we haven’t done that enough in this tournament.

“A good side like Australia will expose you if you’re not ready mentally.”

By Joy

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