Opener onslaught, Zampa suffocation earns Aussies clinical win to leave England’s WC in sticky situation


A whirlwind opening partnership from David Warner and Travis Head and a miserly spell from Adam Zampa have led Australia to a commanding 36-run victory over England in Barbados, to leave the old enemy’s T20 World Cup precariously placed.

Having shaken off the cobwebs with a rusty win over Oman in their tournament opener, the reigning ODI World Cup champions sent a potent reminder that their best is as powerful as any team in the world right from the outset, with few hiccups from there as England failed to recover from a disastrous start with the ball.

Warner (39 from 16 balls) and Head (34 from 18) bludgeoned seven sixes in a 70-run opening stand in just five overs; remarkably, six of them had been rained into the Kensington Oval stands, and the half-century partnership brought up before a single four had been hit as the southpaw pair targeted the short Bridgetown boundary.

Their onslaught, plus cameo performances from Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade, ensured Australia cruised to 7/201 from their 20 overs despite no batter reaching 40.

In reply, a 73-run opening stand in seven overs from England pair Jos Buttler and Phil Salt briefly threatened a revival, but from the moment a Zampa slider castled Salt (37 off 23) with his first ball of the match, Australia regained the ascendancy and never let it slip.

Perfectly suited to a dry, slow Barbados surface that punished pace but rewarded variations, player of the match Zampa added to his Salt scalp with the big fish of Buttler (42 off 28) as well, perishing to an ill-fated reverse sweep caught easily by Pat Cummins at point.

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The leg-spinner would claim 2/28 from his four overs to lead the way with the ball for Australia, two late wickets from Cummins (2/23) ensuring the reigning tournament champions would only reach 6/165.

The loss leaves England’s campaign precariously paced, having failed to secure maximum points due to a washout in their opening game against Scotland.

While Australia would need something disastrous in upcoming group stage games against Associate nations Namibia and Scotland to miss out on the Super 8s, England cannot afford even a single slip-up, or another no result, in their remaining matches against Namibia and Oman, lest a humiliating first-round exit in a simple group befall them.


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