Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Hosts India hit by another washout ahead of Cricket World Cup

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2023 | 12:10 AM
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq during the ICC Cricket World Cup warmup match in Hyderabad, India, yesterday.
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq during the ICC Cricket World Cup warmup match in Hyderabad, India, yesterday.


TOURNAMENT HOSTS India saw another Cricket World Cup warmup game washed out without a ball being bowled against the Netherlands yesterday, while Australia beat Pakistan by 14 runs in a thriller.

There wasn’t even a toss in Thiruvananthapuram as rain again frustrated India. The game was called off early in the evening.

India’s warmup against defending champion England in Guwahati was also a washout at the weekend.

India’s first World Cup game is an eagerly awaited clash with Australia in Chennai on Sunday.

In Hyderabad, Glenn Maxwell roared to form for Australia with 77 runs in 71 balls as his side scored 351-7 in the tournament warmup after opting to bat first. Maxwell hit four fours and six sixes to rescue Australia from 172-5 in 29.1 overs.

Cameron Green was 50 not out in 40 balls, and Josh Inglis enjoyed a 30-ball 48. Opener David Warner also hit 48, off 33, while Marnus Labuschagne scored 40. Mitchell Marsh (31) and Steve Smith (27) also contributed in what turned into a show of batting strength by the Australians.

Pakistan replied with 337 all out in 47.4 overs. Skipper Babar Azam led the way with 90 off 59 balls. He came in to bat at No. 6, with Pakistan 83-4 at one stage.

Azam enjoyed a good final workout, hitting 11 fours and two sixes. He added 144 runs with Iftikhar Ahmed, who scored 83 off 85, to make the chase a real threat to Australia.

Ahmed hit six fours and four sixes as Australia often deployed spin as it looks to provide support for wrist-spinner Adam Zampa.

Mitchell Marsh got 2-43, while Labuschagne took 3-78 in 8.4 overs.

Warner and Smith sent down six overs between them, with Pakistan catching up despite the early loss of wickets. After Azam retired out, Mohammad Nawaz smacked 50 off 42 balls. Pakistan couldn’t quite finish the job at hand, though, and has lost both its warmups, the first to New Zealand at the same ground.

Afghanistan put in a power-packed batting performance to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets with 23 balls remaining under the DLS method in another World Cup warmup.

Kusal Mendis finished on the losing side despite scoring 158 retired out.

Chasing a target of 257 in 42 overs after the game was curtailed owing to rain, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Rahmat Shah put on a batting clinic to dominate Sri Lanka’s bowling.

Gurbaz scored 119 off 92 balls, including eight fours and nine sixes, before retiring out. Shah also retired out after scoring 93 off 82. The duo put on 212 runs in 152 deliveries for the second wicket.

Sri Lanka had earlier scored 294 runs all out in 46.2 overs, thanks to Mendis’ 87-ball 158 with 19 fours and nine sixes.

Off-spinner Mohammad Nabi returned 4-44.

Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bowl in Guwahati.

Defending champions England and New Zealand contest the tournament opener in Ahmedabad on Thursday in a repeat of the thrilling 2019 World Cup final.

Pakistan open their campaign against the Netherlands in Hyderabad on Friday with Bangladesh facing Afghanistan the following day in Dharamsala.

Sri Lanka’s first game is against South Africa in Delhi on Saturday.