Australia make short work of the Eagles 

Zane Green scored 38 for Namibia against Australia. File photo

The Namibian Eagles suffered a comprehensive seven wicket defeat to Australia in a warm-up match in Trinidad yesterday, ahead of the T20 World Cup which kicks off this weekend. 

With Australia still awaiting the arrival of several players from the Indian Premier League, a makeshift team, which included head coach Andrew McDonald, assistant coaches Brad Hodge and Andre Borovec, as well as national selector George Bailey, restricted Namibia to 119/9 off their 20 overs and then reached the target with seven wickets and half their overs remaining. 

Australia captain Mitchell Marsh sent Namibia in to bat and pace bowler Josh Hazlewood immediately struck when he dismissed Michael van Lingen for a second ball duck. 

Nico Davin and JP Kotze tried to revive the innings with an 18-run partnership, but Australia’s bowlers turned on the screws as the wickets started to tumble.

Davin fell victim to Hazlewood for 14; leg spinner Adam Zampa dismissed Kotze for 13; Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit both went cheaply with one run apiece; and when captain Gerhard Erasmus was caught on the boundary off Zampa for 15, Namibia had crashed to 50 for six wickets with less than half their overs remaining. 

Zane Green and Malan Kruger started a comeback with a 25-run partnership for the seventh wicket, but Kruger was unfortunately run out at the striker’s end for 18. 

David Wiese (12 runs) continued the revival, putting on 42 runs for the eighth wicket with Green, who was eventually dismissed by Nathan Ellis for a top score of 38 off 30 balls (5×4). 

Zampa was Australia’s most successful bowler, taking three wickets for 25 runs, while Hazlewood had a great return of two wickets for five runs off four overs, including three maidens. 

Australia’s openers Marsh and David Warner wasted little time as they attacked Namibia’s bowlers from the outset, with Marsh hitting four fours off Ruben Trumpelmann to take their score to 39 off only three overs. 

Marsh was run out by JJ Smit for 18, while Bernard Scholtz bowled Josh Inglis for 5, but Warner continued the onslaught, hitting two sixes and a four off Trumpelmann to take their total to 79/2 off seven overs.

Scholtz picked up his second wicket when he dismissed Tim David for 23, but Warner took Australia to victory, scoring 54 not out off only 21 balls (6×4, 3×6), while Matthew Wade remained not out on 12, as Australia reached the target off only ten overs.

In the end it was a comfortable victory for Australia, but Scholtz bowled well for Namibia, taking 2/16, while Green had a fine knock, showing that they have talented batters all the way down the order. 

Namibia’s next warm-up match is against Papua New Guinea in Trinidad today, while their world cup campaign starts against Oman in Barbados next Monday, 3 June.

The T20 World Cup, which is jointly being hosted by the West Indies and the United States, however, has been rocked by extreme weather conditions in the US, with the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas, which is due to host the opening match between the USA and Canada on Sunday, being hit by a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday. 

It led to massive rains and severe winds, while images on social media showed that the stadium’s giant TV screen had blown over. Photos and videos of the collapsed infrastructure have gone viral with fans questioning the facilities at the venue, which will be hosting four matches at the world cup. 

It also led to the cancellation of the warm-up match between the USA and Bangladesh on Tuesday, but there were no setbacks in Florida, where the Netherlands registered an impressive 20-run win against Sri Lanka. 

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