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Aussies the team to beat at WC: Trent Boult

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30th June, 2019
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New Zealand quick Trent Boult has declared Australia the team to beat at the World Cup after Saturday’s 86-run defeat to their Trans Tasman rivals at Lord’s.

Boult became the first player to take a one-day international hat-trick at the home of cricket but watched on as his middle order collapsed with New Zealand all out for 157.

The win put Australia three points clear at the top of the World Cup table – albeit with India holding two games in hand – and assured them a top-two finish to the group stage.

David Warner and Aaron Finch remain the leading run-scorers in the competition while Mitchell Starc has taken the most wickets in Australia’s bid for a sixth title.

“They are performing well and there’s only a couple of weeks left, they’ll be the ones to beat,” Boult said.

“World Cups, they turn up for them. They obviously have an extremely good record at them and they’re peaking nicely now.

“Obviously there are some quality sides here but it’s all about timing in my opinion.”

New Zealand’s finals hopes will now rest on their last match against England, although they could still qualify with a loss if results go their way.

Either way, there is every chance they could play Australia in the semi-finals, after having also been beaten by them in the 2015 final.

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But Starc said he did not believe the Aussies could take any kind of psychological advantage out of Saturday’s win.

“The two semis are different conditions completely,” he said.

“It’s Edgbaston and Manchester, very different conditions. Could be different team make ups.

“Whether we play New Zealand or India or anyone, we’re going to have to plan really well and then execute on the day.

“Great result (at Lord’s) but one win today is not going to win you the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Boult’s hat-trick was the first by a Black Caps player at Lord’s in any international format, and the fourth overall.

He finished with figures of 4-51, bowling Usman Khawaja and Starc before trapping Jason Behrendorff lbw.

It marked his second in one-day international cricket, his first coming last November in Abu Dhabi.

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“Any fast bowler dreams of getting three in a row anywhere but to it out at Lord’s was pretty exciting,” Boult said.

© AAP