Steve Smith shines again in Aussie warm-up victory against West Indies
Australia win their first warm-up match with ease by 7 wickets against West Indies after another superb innings from the star Steve Smith in Southampton on Wednesday, May 22.
In an unofficial practice match, Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field first. So, West Indies came to bat and started well. Inform Shai Hope looked in good touch again before another inform bowler Pat Cummins got his wicket in the 7th over. Hope scored 21 runs off 23 balls.
After that, West Indies were trembled with continuous wickets as they lost their next five wickets in just 65 runs and they were at 104/6 at one stage. Pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell were the main matador of this condition as they both took two wickets each among the five. Evin Lewis scored 50 runs off 56 balls while the inform big-hitter Andre Russell couldn’t replicate his Indian Premier League (IPL) form as he scored just 5 runs off 4 balls before bowled out by spinner Adam Zampa.
Then Carlos Brathwaite and Sunil Ambris handled the situation and set a modest target of 230 runs before they were bowled out for 229 in just 46.2 overs. Carlos Brathwaite scored 60 runs from 64 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes. The pace trio- Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile all took 2 wickets each.
Chasing the target of 230 runs, Australia started with a huge blow as opener Usman Khawaja was struck by a brutal bouncer from Andre Russell in the second over of the innings and he was taken to hospital immediately for scans. Then David Warner and Aaron Finch kept the chase in hand before Warner got out by scoring 12 runs off 24 ball at no. 3 position.
Then Steve Smith extended his pre-World Cup purple patch by playing another beautiful innings of 76 runs off 82 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes. It was his third straight half century in the warm-up games after his return in the national team.
Earlier, captain Finch scored 42 runs and then Shaun Marsh was unbeaten at 55 runs to grab the easy win by 7 wickets with almost 12 overs in hand. West Indies rested star batsman Chris Gayle and Australia rested their three player- Nathan Lyon, Marcus Stoinis and Kane Richardson.
Australia will play their first official warm-up match against England on May 25 while West Indies will play their first warm-up match against South Africa on May 26.
Australia XII: Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa.
West Indies XIV: Jason Holder (c), Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Shannon Gabriel, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.
West Indies 229-10 (46.2 overs)
Carlos Brathwaite 60 (64), Evin Lewis 50 (56)
Nathan Coulter-Nile 2/25, Mitchell Starc 2/34
Australia 230-3 (38.3 overs)
Steve Smith 76 (82), Shaun Marsh 55* (59)
Raymon Reifer 1/17
Toss: Australia won the toss, elected to field