Zampa puts Namibia in a spin as Aussies seal Super Eights spot with Antigua annihilation


Adam Zampa continued his stunning World Cup campaign as Australia demolished Namibia in a cakewalk at Antigua to show they deserve to be rated alongside India as tournament favourites.

They produced their best team bowling performance in Twenty20 history, skittling Namibia for 72 runs and then smashed their way past the target in 5.4 overs to seal a spot in the knockout stage at the World Cup.

Before Wednesday (AEST), the lowest total a team had posted against Australia in a T20I was 73, managed by Bangladesh at the 2021 edition of the tournament – won by Australia.

But after losing the toss and being made to bat in Antigua, Namibia fell to 3-17 at the end of the powerplay and were in damage control thereafter.

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Zampa (4-12) was again the star of the show with his leg spin and became the first Australian man to reach 100 T20I scalps when he bowled Bernard Scholtz for a second-ball duck with the last delivery of his spell.

Adam Zampa celebrates with teammates at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. (Photo by Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

But it was ever-precise paceman Josh Hazlewood (2-18) who set carnage in motion during the powerplay as Namibia lost 3-1 in the space of 10 balls.

Openers Niko Davin (two from seven balls) and Michael van Langin (10 off 10) both swatted Hazlewood to Glenn Maxwell at backward point, with Jan Frylinck (one) joining them in the dugout as Pat Cummins (1-16) began his spell with a wicket maiden.

Things could have ended up a lot worse for Namibia if not for captain Gerhard Erasmus (36 from 43 deliveries), the only batter to make a start and one of only two to reach double figures.

Called into the XI as Mitch Starc nurses a sore calf, fellow quick Nathan Ellis (1-12) was the beneficiary of a successful lbw review that sent vice-captain JJ Smit (three) packing and pushed Namibia to 4-18.

But the night again belonged to Zampa after his player-of-the-match performance in the last-start defeat of England.

After Ruben Trumpelmann (seven) pulled Zampa for one of only two Namibian sixes, Maxwell caught the quick trying to play the same shot, before bowling Scholtz two deliveries later.

It came after the 32-year-old trapped wicketkeeper Zane Green (one) lbw and enticed David Wiese (one) into finding Hazlewood in the deep.

Erasmus provided late resistance after facing 16 dot balls to begin his innings.

But when he skied Marcus Stoinis (2-9) to Maxwell, Namibia were all but finished at 9-72 and the Australian allrounder had a fourth catch – the equal-most by one player in a World Cup innings.

David Warner belted 20, hitting three boundaries and a six, in only eight deliveries and then Travid Head with 34 off 17 and Mitch Marsh with 18 from 9 completed the carnage with a combined eight fours and three sixes.

With the win, Australia booked their spot in the Super 8 stage regardless of the outcome of their final group-stage match against Scotland.

Finish top-two in their Super 8 group and the 2021 champions will progress to the knockout semi-finals.

with AAP

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