• Saturday, June 15, 2024

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World Cup 2023 warm-up: Mitchell Starc’s hat-trick against Dutch high-point on rain-marred day

The Netherlands were struggling at 84 for 6 against the five-time champions while chasing 168 in 23 overs. The game between India and England was abandoned due to downpour.

Australia pacer Mitchell Starc in action. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

RAIN continued to play spoilsport in the warm-up games ahead of the 50-over World Cup set to kick off on Thursday (5) with three matches ending without results. However, while the South Africa-Afghanistan and India-England games on Friday (29) and Saturday (30), respectively, did not see a single ball being bowled, the encounter between five-time champions Australia and the Netherlands gave the fans some exciting action.

Australia, who played a three-match one-day international (ODI) series against India recently, decided to give their lower-order batters a chance with the bat in the match in Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala which was reduced to 23 overs a side due to rain.

Steve Smith opened the batting with Josh Inglis but the latter’s stay at the wicket was ended by an inswinger from Logan van Beek. Smith, who scored a half century in the third ODI against India, scored 55 off 42 balls laced with four boundaries and three sixes.

Spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Shariz Ahmad removed Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell, respectively, but Cameron Green’s 26-ball 34 at No.5 and Mitchell Starc’s 24 not out off 22 at No.6 powered Australia to 166 for 7 in 23 overs.

The Dutch, who are playing in their fifth World Cup after making debut in the 1996 edition which was also played in the sub-continent, had a disappointing outing with the bat as Starc’s hat-trick reduced them to 12 for 3 before Mitchell Marsh dismissed opener Vikramjit Singh to leave them reeling at 15 for 4. Colin Ackermann was not out on 31 off 37 balls — the highest scorer for his team — while captain and wicket-keeper Scott Edwards made 14 off 10 balls. Rain saved the day for the chasing team as it returned in the 14th over in the second innings to force an abandonment. Netherlands were at 84 for 6 at 14.2 overs when the match was called off.

Both teams have one warm-up game each left on Tuesday (3). While the Netherlands will play hosts India, Australia will meet Pakistan in Hyderabad.

The tournament kicks off with a replay of the 2019 final between champions England and runners-up New Zealand in Ahmedabad.

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