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Cricket News: Finch shines but Aussies collapse to India, Scots stun Windies, Abbott's Test bid, Paine struggles

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17th October, 2022
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Australian captain Aaron Finch found form at the right time before India took four wickets with the final four balls to record a thrilling six-run win in a T20 warm-up clash at the Gabba.

Finch (76 off 54 balls) had not posted a score in four previous T20 internationals but he played an assortment of trademark thumps, flicks and classic cover drives to get among the runs ahead of Australia’s T20 World Cup opener against New Zealand at the SCG on Saturday.

With Australia cruising at 4-171, the 35-year-old opener was bowled in the penultimate over before Indian superstar Virat Kohli ran out Tim David with a direct hit to leave the hosts needing 11 runs off the final over to win.

Kohli took a stunning one-handed catch on the long-on boundary to get rid of Pat Cummins off Mohammad Shami (3-4 off one) from the third ball of the last over. 

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17: Josh Inglis of Australia is bowled out by Mohammad Shami of India during the ICC 2022 Men's T20 World Cup Warm Up Match between Australia and India at The Gabba on October 17, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez - ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Josh Inglis is bowled by Mohammed Shami. (Photo by Albert Perez – ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Ashton Agar was run out before Shami cleaned up Josh Inglis and Kane Richardson with perfect yorkers in the only over he bowled after coming on as a substitute.  

While a warm-up game and not an official international, both sides were aiming to get in a groove before the World Cup.

Glenn Maxwell (23) whacked himself in the head when a switch hit deflected near his eye but unfurled more of his bread-and-butter shot to reach double figures for Australia for the first time in eight innings.

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Opener Mitch Marsh (35 off 18 balls) was in superb form for Australia in the run chase but still has not bowled in a match since injuring an ankle in August.

Indian opening batsman KL Rahul was in the mood to make a statement after Australia won the toss and bowled.

Rahul had made four T20 international half-centuries in his previous six games and continued that form in a blistering 57 from 33 deliveries.

Suryakumar Yadav (50 off 33) wreaked havoc at the death to lift India to a competitive total.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 17: Aaron Finch of Australia celebrates his half century during the ICC 2022 Men's T20 World Cup Warm Up Match between Australia and India at The Gabba on October 17, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez - ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

(Photo by Albert Perez – ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Kane Richardson (4-30) was Australia’s best bowler after topliner Josh Hazlewood was rested.

The Melbourne Renegades paceman is not expected to play many games during the World Cup unless there is an injury to one of Australia’s pace trio of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Cummins but he showed he will be ready to contribute if called upon.

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Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis has been managed with his bowling input since returning to the team from a side strain. 

He bowled on this occasion, but it was an inauspicious start with Rahul taking 20 runs from his opening over.

Scotland upset Windies in another huge upset

Scotland have produced the second upset of T20 World Cup, toppling two-time champions West Indies by 42 runs on the back of their spinners and some rock-solid outfield catching.

The Scots posted 5-160 after losing the toss in Hobart on Monday before tweakers Mark Watt (3-12 from four overs) and Michael Leask (2-15 from four overs) came to the fore.

The West Indies, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, couldn’t get a partnership going, with the loss putting a dent in their chances of progressing to the next stage.

They were out for 118 in 18.3 overs with only four players reaching double digits.

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Experienced allrounder Jason Holder top scored with 38 from 33 balls but ran out of help.

It is the second sizeable upset in as many days after minnows Namibia thrashed Sri Lanka by 55 runs in Geelong on Sunday.

Scotland grabbed several tricky outfield catches, while Watt picked up his three scalps bowling from well being the crease.

The West Indies lost 7-26 from the sixth over to the 13th over.

Their evening was summed up when Akeal Hosein was run out in the 13th over for one despite Leask needing a second attempt to disturb the stumps.

Earlier, Scotland opener George Munsey anchored the innings with 66 not out from 53 balls.

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Scotland got off to a flying start and were 0-54 after the powerplay thanks to Munsey, who scored six of his nine boundaries in the first six overs.

He whacked speedster Alzarri Joseph for three consecutive fours in the fourth over but struggled to regain his groove after a 45-minute rain delay in the sixth over. Holder put the screws on with 2-14 after the rain but surprisingly bowled just the three of a maximum four overs.

Group B sides, West Indies, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe, are fighting to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the tournament. They play each other once, with the top two teams progressing to the next stage.

In-form all-rounder Sikandar Raza has fired Zimbabwe to a convincing 31-run win over Ireland in Hobart to begin their T20 World Cup campaign.

Raza whacked 82 from 48 balls, including five fours and five sixes, on Monday night as Zimbabwe posted 7-174 and kept their opposition to 9-143 in reply.

It continued a rich vein of form for the Pakistan-born 36-year-old, who has five half centuries from his past nine T20 international innings.

In August, he scored back-to-back unbeaten centuries in Zimbabwe’s ODI series win over Bangladesh and posted 115 against India in the same format.

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Raza came to the crease with his team in a wobbly position at 3-37 in the sixth over but turned the momentum before falling on the final ball of the innings.

Abbott mounts Test bid

Sean Abbott is eyeing the chance to prove his red-ball game is up to Test standard in a long-awaited stretch of Sheffield Shield as the silver lining to missing Australia’s T20 World Cup squad.

Abbott will play his first red-ball game in close to a year on Tuesday, when NSW take on Queensland at Drummoyne.

In many ways, Abbott has become the forgotten man of Australian red-ball cricket.

A year ago he was being talked about as an option for an Ashes debut if one of Australia’s quicks went down or was rested.

Sean Abbott celebrates taking the wicket of Tom Latham.

Sean Abbott celebrates taking the wicket of Tom Latham. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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Then life, COVID bubbles and injuries got in the way.

He pulled out of the Australia A squad early last summer ahead of the birth of daughter Ella.

And when Pat Cummins became a COVID-19 close contact and Josh Hazlewood was injured at the Gabba, Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson got the chance.

A week later, on Boxing Day, Scott Boland was handed his debut and starred, earning selection for the ensuing Test tour of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Abbott has not played a red-ball game since.

He was injured after last summer’s Big Bash, then missed the end of the Shield season while with the white-ball squad in Pakistan.

He broke his finger before the first T20 in Sri Lanka, played two top-end ODIs against New Zealand and a T20 in India before sitting on the sideline against England.

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“I definitely wouldn’t say I am frustrated. I’m right where I want to be,” Abbott told AAP.

“Although you are running drinks, it’s only because our Aussie side is so strong and the bowlers do well to play all three formats.

“But this year I have got my cricket all going in the right direction and the players I am with are almost the best coaches.

“My white-ball has always been there, but I have got my red-ball going right. So all of a sudden I am either on stand-by or getting called up.”

This week should mark the first of five straight games for Abbott before the BBL, with the only possible interruption a call-up to Australia’s Test squad.

In his two Shield games last summer, Abbott took 11 wickets at 20.72.

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In the season before it was 21 at 29.14, while also scoring a maiden century and averaging 63.33 with the bat.

“I’ve made no secret that playing Test cricket is the dream, and I have to play Shield to do that,” Abbott said.

“If the opportunity comes up, I know 100 per cent I am ready to go.

“Even though I have only been in white-ball squads for the past two years, you are still working on things.

“Unless you’re doing structured bowling, your line-and-lengths and the way you feel at the crease is still the same as you would be aiming for in a four-day game.”

Bancroft belts even hundred for WA

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A Cameron Bancroft century underpinned Western Australia’s early dominance before a Victorian fightback on day one of their Sheffield Shield match.

Bancroft made 100 as WA posted 5-290 at Melbourne’s Junction Oval.

The ex-Test batsman was dismissed by Victoria’s latest Shield debutant – a 31-year-old Sri Lankan – after featuring in a 146-run stand with opening partner Sam Whiteman (82 from 142 balls).

Whiteman was dismissed in the 46th over – the lefthander nicked down the leg-side from the bowling of Will Sutherland (1-42).

Bancroft struck nine fours in his 20th first-class ton but was dismissed soon after reaching the milestone, stumped.

The 29-year-old, who last played Test cricket in August 2019, was the initial first-class wicket of Victoria’s Sri Lankan-born legspinner Ruwantha Kellapotha, who finished with 1-78 from 21 overs.

West Australian Teague Wyllie (49) failed to cash in on a bright start when was caught and bowled by Matt Short (1-13) while Hilton Cartwright was unbeaten on 39.

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Josh Phillipe (five) was also dismissed caught and bowled, by Todd Murphy (1-70), as Victoria rallied late in the day, taking 4-64.

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The West Australians included speedster Jhye Richardson after he missed their Shield-opening eight-wicket win against NSW because of a hamstring niggle.

Richardson has not played a red-ball game since Adelaide’s Ashes Test in late December.

The paceman, who has set his sights on Australia’s Test series against the West Indies and South Africa this summer, returns against a Victorian side held to a draw by South Australia in their Shield opener.

Paine out cheaply again

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Paceman Wes Agar took four wickets as South Australia edged ahead of Tim Paine’s Tasmania at the midpoint of their Sheffield Shield match.

At stumps on day two, the Redbacks are 2-21 in their second innings, a lead of three runs, after Agar took 4-34 at Adelaide Oval.

Agar’s haul helped bowl the visitors out for 245, a first-innings lead of 18.

Paine took a superb catch in SA’s second innings to remove Henry Hunt (eight), diving full-stretch, low to his right, in front of first slip.

And he pouched a regulation edge two balls later from nightwatchman Harry Conway (duck), who inexplicably launched an expansive drive just five minutes before stumps to give Peter Siddle (2-5) a second victim.

But earlier Paine scored only two as Tasmania’s batsmen slipped from an ominous position of 2-103.

The ex-Test captain was caught at short-leg from the bowling of SA’s debutant allrounder Ben Manenti.

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Opener Tim Ward top-scored with 82 and Beau Webster made 46 but Tasmania surrendered momentum as Agar claimed 4-34 from 19 overs.

Offspinner Manenti (2-34), Conway (2-51) and Jordan Buckingham (2-53) also took multiple wickets for SA.

Paine made six and an unbeaten 29 in Tasmania’s Shield opener – his comeback to first-class cricket after standing down as Australia’s Test captain last November.

In Monday’s middle session, he was among three Tasmanian wickets to fall with Ward (219 balls, nine fours) and Jordan Silk (25).

Webster struck seven fours in his 81-ball knock but the Tasmanian tail couldn’t wag.

The Tasmanians bowled SA out for 227 on day one with pace pair Jackson Bird and Siddle taking four wickets each and Jake Lehmann (73) and Manenti (59) top-scoring.

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