Thu, 25 Jul 2024

England through to Super 8s after Australia beat Scotland

June 16 (AFP) - Australia saw off a determined challenge from Scotland to claim a five-wicket victory in a decisive final Group B match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for both teams at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Saturday.

Replying to the Scots’ 180 for five, their highest total in a T20 World Cup match, half-centuries from Travis Head (68 off 49 balls, five fours, four sixes) and Marcus Stoinis (59 off 29 balls, nine fours, two sixes) paced them to the target and a 100% winning record in the group with two balls to spare.

Tim David’s unbeaten 24 off 14 balls finished the job to lift Australia to 186 for five.

But he required a generous slice of luck when dropped at deep midwicket before finishing off the match with a huge six in the same direction off the next ball from seamer Brad Wheal.

That result also eliminated Scotland and allowed title-holders England, winners earlier in the day over Namibia in a rain-affected match in Antigua, to qualify for the Super Eights phase of the competition alongside their arch-rivals by virtue of a better net run-rate than the Scots.

“The plan was the usual: get yourself in, play shots along the ground and then take it from there,” said player of the match Stoinis, explaining the strategy through his innings and the 80-run fourth-wicket partnership with Head.

“I was just trying to keep him there, keep him batting and it turned the game, even though he got out in the end.”

Earlier, Brandon McMullen led the Scottish effort with a topscore of 60 off 34 balls (two fours, six sixes) after they were put in.

His ultra-aggression, and support from opener George Munsey (35) in an 89-run second-wicket partnership, pushed the scoring rate up to ten runs per over. However, Australia were able to regain a measure of containment when McMullen fell to leg-spinner Adam Zampa in the 12th over.

Despite a battling unbeaten 42 from skipper Richie Berrington, only 69 runs came off the last 52 balls of the innings when Scotland would have been looking to put up a total in excess of 200.

“Unfortunately in the back overs we didn’t quite manage to captalise on the good start we got with the bat,” said a disappointed Berrington. “In defending that total towards the end we just didn’t execute effectively enough. We also know they have some really good ball-strikers down the order and two big overs really cost us.”

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