Abu Dhabi: Adam Zampa will be key to Australia extending their winning run in the last match of the Super-12 match against the misfiring West Indies in the Twenty20 World Cup at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Australia will have to first defeat West Indies in the first game of the day and hope that England stop South Africa in the second to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Hence, they will be banking on the leg-spinner to curtail the West Indians, who will be playing for pride after getting knocked out of the tournament by a clinical Sri Lanka on Thursday at the same venue.
Spin test for West Indies
Zampa, who bagged a five-wicket haul against Bangladesh on Thursday and left the Tigers in a tailspin, must have watched the manner in which Wanindu Hasaranga bowled and dismissed the likes of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and will be hoping to repeat that feat on Saturday.
West Indies, the defending champions, promised to play complete cricket at the start of the tournament, but what they displayed against Sri Lanka was not their normal cricket and did not measure up to their own standards. They were trying to take the aerial route for the big shots only to pay the price.
Nicolas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer scored most of their runs, but certainly, they were taking their chances and were living dangerously. It was a disappointing show by the two-time champions, who have a sole victory to their credit in their four matches.
The Abu Dhabi wicket is now wearing a different look with high-scoring contests. The last three matches on this wicket has yielded a minimum of 189 runs and all three matches were won by the team batting first, a welcome change as otherwise toss is proving a crucial factor.
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Australia need to a take a leaf out of Sri Lanka’s book by putting the team under pressure by playing on the ground, rotating singles and twos while hitting the odd boundaries. In a desperation to get the wickets, West Indian bowlers experimented a lot, only to concede more runs and wides.
It is also not a wicket to play the shots immediately but allows a set batter to play through the line, as displayed by Pakistan and Sri Lankan batters.
Australia will also have to ensure that their run rate doesn’t dip as the net run rate could come into play should South Africa beat England and be level on points.