Opening shock for David Warner woe: How Australia’s World Cup defense crumbled | Cricket News


ADELAIDE: Australia’s 20-20 World Cup defense was over on Saturday after old rivals England pipped the hosts to a place in the semi-finals.
The outgoing champions won three, lost one and had one game washed out as they finished third behind New Zealand and England in a tight Group 1.
Here’s a look at where things went wrong for the team that were tipped as pre-tournament favourites, along with England.
1) Australia never really recovered after being thrashed by New Zealand by 89 runs in their opening game. It was the worst possible start.
The hosts’ bowlers held sway as Devon Conway’s unbeaten 92 powered the Black Caps to 200-3, avenging their loss to their neighbors in last year’s final. The hosts were bundled out for a paltry 111.
The huge margin of defeat came back to haunt Australia. They bowed out of the tournament despite being level on seven points with England and New Zealand – their far worse net run rate costing them a last four spot.
2) Skipper Aaron Finch came under pressure in the tournament due to his poor form with the bat.
He scored 13 in the first game and then a hard-hitting unbeaten 31 in the next against Sri Lanka that almost cost the team a win but for a Marcus Stoinis blitz.
Finch later called his 41-ball struggle in Perth a “one-off” and soon hit a attacking 63 in his side’s win over Ireland, but the knock came late.
He missed the last match with a hamstring injury as Australia survived a late scare by Afghanistan in a thrilling four-run win.
3)David Warner was Australia’s leading batsman with 289 runs in their first innings T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year, but he has inexplicably failed to fire on domestic conditions.
His scores of 5, 11, 3 and 25 mirrored the team’s totals, with the highest being 179 against Ireland.
The left-handed opener was bowled by Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq after trying to hit a switch and was booed by England’s Barmy Army, who tweeted: “David Warner bats left-handed bats right-handed being cleared.”
The Barmy Army cheered again on Saturday, tweeting: “Let the tears begin.”


If it wasn’t enough to float Glenn Maxwell between five and six, Australia’s decision-making even shocked the opposition in Adelaide by not picking pacer Mitchell Starc in the XI.
They had to beat Afghanistan by a huge margin for a shot at the semi-finals and Starc’s replacement Kane Richardson leaked 48 runs from his four overs.
Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott said they were “surprised” by Starc’s omission and former Test captain Michael Clarke said: “I don’t understand it.”
Maxwell, who hit a match-winning 54 against Afghanistan, will not be drawn on Starc but said the hosts “just missed big moments, probably too many times”.
“Not starting the first game of the tournament that well probably hurt us as well,” he added. “It probably goes without saying.”


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