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Warner and Finch smash century stand


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Opening batsmen David Warner and Aaron Finch led the charge as Australia defeated New Zealand by three runs in their World Twenty20 warm-up match in Fatullah, Bangladesh.

Australia’s opening stand of 113 off just eight overs put them in early command, with Warner smashing 65 from 26 balls and Finch 47 from 22 before both retired.

The Australians reached 7-200 and restricted the Black Caps to 9-197, which was built on blistering knocks from opener Martin Guptill’s 62 from 34 balls and captain Brendon McCullum’s 37 from 18.

Needing just 17 off the last two overs, a late collapse scuppered New Zealand’s hopes as they lost four cheap wickets.

Seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile took 2-5 in the last over, dismissing Jimmy Neesham and Anton Devcich cheaply before tying down Ronnie Hira and Kyle Mills.

Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc were the pick of the Australian attack, snaring two wickets each on a good batting surface.

The Black Caps bowlers tightened up, most notably veteran seamer Kyle Mills (2-21 off four overs) and spinner Devcich (1-15 off three).

The teams played a five-over practice match afterwards, which Australia also won, chasing down New Zealand’s score of 29 in three overs.

Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign starts on Sunday against Pakistan in Dhaka.

In the second-level of the Cup’s program, South Australia’s Tom Cooper starred for The Netherlands; but it wasn’t enough.

Zimbabwe notched a thrilling last-ball victory against a spirited Netherlands in a World Twenty20 qualifier to stay in contention for the main round.

Needing one run off the last ball, Vusi Sibanda lofted fast bowler Ahsan Malik over long on for a six to get his team over the line at 5-146.

Tom Cooper’s brilliant unbeaten 72 off 58 balls on Wednesday lifted the Netherlands to 5-140 after Zimbabwe had them at 4-35 within the first five overs. Offspinner Prosper Utseya (2-24) claimed two wickets.

Cooper hit nine fours and a six and added 52 runs for the fifth wicket with Ben Cooper (20) before cutting loose in a 53-run stand with Mudassar Bukhari (14 not out).

Zimbabwe’s run chase was smooth as opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor put on 62 runs for the second wicket, until medium pacer Pieter Sellar removed Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura within three deliveries.

Taylor scored 49 off 39 balls before he fell in the 19th over with Zimbabwe still needing 15 runs.

“Very basic errors on the boundary cost us 10-15 runs, not good enough for a professional outfit,” Taylor said.

“Hopefully, we can rectify that against UAE and we’ll be a chance.”



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