Australia beat Namibia by seven wickets

Despite having only nine available first-team players, the Australian cricket team cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Namibia in its first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 warm-up match played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Wednesday.

Since Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green have been given extra time off to recover from their engagement in the Indian Premier League, Australia only had nine players available to take the field on Wednesday.

After captain Mitch Marsh won the toss and elected to field, two members of the Australian support staff – selection chief George Bailey, a former Australia captain who is now 41, and fielding coach Andre Borovec, a 46-year-old former wicketkeeper, initially took the field to make up the numbers.

Later, Australian batting coach Brad Hodge and head coach Andrew McDonald came on fielding duties when Marsh and Josh Hazlewood spent time off the field.

However, the handicap barely posed any hindrance to Australia, the world No. 2 T20 team, as they comfortably dispatched world No. 14 Namibia in the contest.

Hazlewood set the tone for the win with an incredible opening spell, which saw him pick up two wickets without conceding a single run in his first three overs. The Aussie pacer, playing his first match in three months, finished with figures of 2/5 in his four overs, three of which were maidens.

Spinner Adam Zampa followed up and kept the pressure on in the middle overs and finished with figures of 3/25. Nathan Ellis and Tim David also picked up a wicket each.

Namibia, however, put up some late resistance courtesy of wicketkeeper Zane Green (38 off 30), Malan Green (18 off 11) and David Wiese (12 off 13) to finish with 119/9 in their allotted 20 overs.

In response, Australia made a good start but lost captain Marsh in the fourth over after a mix-up caused a run out. Josh Inglis (5 off 4) also fell cheaply but a fantastic innings by David Warner (54* off 21) took Australia home with 10 overs to spare.

Warner, well-supported by Tim Davaid (23 off 16) and Matthew Wade (12 off 5).

Australia, the 2021 T20 World Cup winners, will play another warm-up match against the West Indies on Friday before starting their campaign in the tournament proper against Oman in Barbados on June 5.

Australia have been drawn in Group B for this year’s World T20 along with two-time champions England, Namibia, Scotland and Oman.

Australia vs Namibia T20 World Cup 2024 brief scores: Namibia 119/9 in 20 overs (Zane Green 38; Adam Zampa 3/25; Josh Hazlewood 2/5) lost to Australia 123/3 in 10 overs (David Warner 54; Bernard Scholtz 2/16) by seven wickets.

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