Report: Australia Dominate Namibia with Just Nine Players

Hazlewood and Warner Shine for Nine-Man Australia with Coaches Subbing In

Australia’s Impressive Warm-Up Victory Over Namibia

Australia’s depleted squad showcased their depth and resilience in a convincing T20 World Cup warm-up victory against Namibia. Despite fielding only nine players, the Aussies chased down Namibia’s modest total of 119 for 9 with ease, thanks to standout performances from Josh Hazlewood and David Warner.

Hazlewood’s Dominance with the New Ball

Hazlewood set the tone early with a stunning spell of 3-3-0-2. His disciplined bowling saw him dismiss Nikolaas Davin with a catch by fielding coach Andre Borovec, one of four backroom staff members making up the numbers on the field. Hazlewood’s brilliance continued as he deflected a straight drive to run out Malan Kruger at the non-striker’s end, underlining his sharpness and reflexes. Reflecting on his performance, Hazlewood stated, “Probably a few of us needed to [play] coming off a big layoff…was good to get out there, playing is always different to training.”

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Warner’s Quick-Fire Half-Century

David Warner, recovering from a lacklustre and injury-plagued IPL season, found form with a blistering 20-ball fifty. His aggressive start, alongside Mitchell Marsh, propelled Australia to their target in just 10 overs. Warner, who plans to retire after the tournament, smashed three sixes off Tangeni Lungameni to reach his milestone, reminding everyone of his explosive batting prowess.

Coaching Staff Step Up

With six key players unavailable following the IPL, including Travis Head, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, and Marcus Stoinis, Australia relied on their coaching staff to fill the gaps. Head coach Andrew McDonald, assistants Brad Hodge and Andre Borovec, and national selector George Bailey donned the fielding gear to support the team. Borovec and Bailey were first-choice substitutes, illustrating the team’s adaptability and camaraderie.

Supporting Cast in the Bowling Attack

Ashton Agar, making his return to the squad, shared the new ball with Hazlewood but ended up the most expensive of the specialist bowlers. With limited bowling options, part-time spinner Tim David bowled a full allotment of four overs, restricting Namibia to a below-par score. Adam Zampa was instrumental in dismantling Namibia’s middle order, while Nathan Ellis, who had minimal exposure during the IPL, proved economical with figures of 1 for 17 from his four overs.

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Preparation for the Tournament

This match was crucial for Australia’s preparations, given that many players were coming off a break or had limited game time in India. Hazlewood emphasized the importance of match practice, noting, “The ball felt like it was coming out pretty good. The wicket looked a little bit tough early, probably a little bit slow, probably what we are going to encounter here in the West Indies so it’s just about keeping it pretty simple, sticking to the top of the stumps, not trying too much and letting the wicket do its work.”

Looking Ahead

Australia’s next warm-up match is against hosts West Indies on Thursday. This game will further test their squad depth and readiness ahead of the T20 World Cup. With key players returning and Warner in form, Australia will be keen to build on this dominant performance and fine-tune their strategies for the tournament.

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