The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

Hazlewood stars as nine-man Aussies pump Namibia in T20 World Cup warm-up... with coach and chief selector fielding

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Editor
29th May, 2024
6
1304 Reads

Queens Park, Port-of-Spain: Three consecutive maidens from Josh Hazlewood and a rapid half-century from David Warner have steered Australia to a commanding seven-wicket victory over Namibia in their first T20 World Cup warm-up match in Trinidad – but it was coach Andrew McDonald who stole the show.

Sub-fielding for an undermanned Australian IX, with five players in their 14-man squad including star quicks Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc en route for the IPL, the 42-year old, who played four Tests for Australia in 2009, replaced Hazlewood for the final five overs of the Namibian innings, receiving the biggest cheer of the day from his teammates with a diving stop in the deep to prevent a four.

Namibia’s total of 119 off their 20 overs was swiftly reeled in by Warner and co., the veteran opener shaping up for the tournament in ideal fashion with a 21-ball 54, including hitting the winning boundary to complete the chase in exactly 10 overs.

McDonald wasn’t the only former Australian Test player filling in in the field, with one-time stars George Bailey and Brad Hodge along with fielding coach Andre Borovec all stepping in, Hodge even proving he’s lost little of his touch ahead of his 50th birthday later this year with a catch.

Don’t miss the ICC Men’s #T20WorldCup!  ???? Watch live and exclusively NOW – it’s on Prime

The group were all badly needed, with captain Mitchell Marsh keeping his previously injured hamstring on light duties by running drinks for a large portion of the innings as well as Hazlewood’s managed minutes.

With both keepers Josh Inglis and Matthew Wade playing and likely vying for the same spot in the team, it was the Western Australian who donned the gloves for the match, one early miss off Nathan Ellis for four byes the one blemish, though it remains expected the senior Wade will start for the tournament proper against Oman.

Minus Cummins and Starc, Hazlewood was the one man of Australia’s champion pace-bowling trio on hand against Namibia, but he more than proved up to the challenge of shouldering the load solo.

Advertisement

The ageless seamer removed opener Michael van Lingen off the second ball of the innings, caught behind by Josh Inglis, and didn’t look back, bowling 19 consecutive dot balls, including a three-over runless spell with the new ball, before at last conceding a single.

Finishing with the miserly figures of 4-3-5-2, with one of those runs a front-foot no ball that forced him to keep the free hit to a single with a slower bouncer, the 33-year old showed he remains one of the world’s premier short-format bowlers, though tougher challenges against Full Member nations will await if Australia progress deep into the World Cup.

As if to prove it was his day, Hazlewood finished his spell with a fortuitous run out at the non-striker’s end, a straight drive from Namibian top-scorer Zane Green brushing his fingers en route to the stumps to catch Malan Kruger short.

A 42-run stand between Green and veteran David Wiese ensured the Namibians would pass three figures late in the innings, allowing the Associate nation to recover slightly from 7/75 after 15 overs to 9/119 at the end of the innings, though Australia ended things with another highlight when Tim David hit the striker’s stumps direct from long off to run out Wiese going for a second run off the final ball.

But when Warner reverse-swept Gerhard Erasmus for six off the first ball he faced, a swift end to proceedings looked inevitable.

Advertisement

Opening alongside Warner in place of Head, Marsh looked to have shaken off any rust from the hamstring injury that curtailed his IPL campaign with a serious of trademark crunching shots on both sides of the wicket.

His downfall would be entirely his own doing, setting off for a nonexistent run after being rapped on the pads by quick Tangeni Lungameni and being easily run out.

Of the five Australians required in the middle, only Inglis, who chopped Bernard Scholtz on for 5, failed to fire, David larruping 23 off 16 balls before holing out and Wade finding time for two deft boundaries in his five-ball stay in the innings’ death throes.

Sports opinion delivered daily 

   

But the star was Warner, who even by his standards showed greater than usual aggression in barreling his way to an unbeaten 21-ball 54 with monstrous strokes aplenty.

42 of the veteran’s runs, including three sixes, came via boundaries, with the onslaught against both spin and pace a more than handy opening salvo to what is almost certainly his final World Cup, and possibly an international swansong too.

Advertisement
close