Match Report:


All-round Stoinis shines as Aussies overpower plucky Oman

Oman made Australia work hard in their T20 World Cup opener as Marcus Stoinis' efforts with bat and ball secured a 39-run win

Match Wrap | Warner, Stoinis lift Aussies in tricky opener

Marcus Stoinis helped Australia survive a jittery start to see them overpower Oman in Barbados with the allrounder starring with bat and ball to seal a 39-run victory on yet another difficult T20 World Cup batting surface.

Stoinis (67no off 35 balls) cracked the game open by hitting six of the game's 12 sixes, including four in an over, and sharing in a 102-run fourth-wicket partnership with David Warner (56 off 51), who became Australia's all-time leading men's T20I run-scorer.

The Aussies had that pair to thank as they pounded 101 off their final eight overs to push their score to 5-164.

Oh man! Maxwell's golden duck after skipper's screamer

Australia surprisingly left out Pat Cummins of their XI but made do without him as Stoinis took 3-19 to help Australia keep their brave but overmatched opponents for just 9-125. 

It was a result sure to have been noted by England – who struggled to keep Scotland's openers in check during their washed-out match at this same venue two days ago – ahead of the Ashes rivals' contest on Saturday (Sunday 3am AEST).

The fitness of Mitchell Starc was Australia's only concern out of the match after the left-armer pulled up with what appeared to be cramp on the first ball of his final over and walked off the field with the team physiotherapist.

After boldly declaring on match eve that Australia would struggle if conditions were as low and slow as the ones that prevailed, Oman's captain and star allrounder Aqib Ilyas walked the talk as he reeled in the catch of the tournament so far to dismiss Glenn Maxwell off his first ball.

The Sialkot-born 31-year-old dived full length to his left and expertly kept the ball from bobbling out upon landing to dismiss Maxwell for his second consecutive golden duck after he finished his below-par Indian Premier League with one in a playoff match.

Aqib also conceded just 18 from his four overs bowling both off- and leg-breaks and later pumped Stoinis for a six that almost landed in the pool of the party section on the eastern side of the Bridgetown ground.

But Stoinis had the last laugh when he nicked off Aqib two balls after the blow, with the boisterous Aussies cock-a-hoop that the game was all but in the bag.

It came after Starc took his 52nd wicket in the first over of an international match across all formats after opener Pratik Athavale was given out lbw on review. Aqib would have gone the same way two balls later but was saved by a review of his own.

The skiddy pace off Nathan Ellis (2-29), the man brought in for Cummins, proved ideal on the low-bouncing surface as he slid one into Kashyap Prajapati's pads to see the underdogs swiftly slump to 4-34.

There was concern for Australia when Starc pulled up sore beginning his fourth over // Getty

Adam Zampa (2-24 from four overs) made a strong start to his tournament as Tim David capped the win with a terrific boundary-line catch.

Ilyas' decision at the toss to bowl first looked shrewd after the Aussies were struggling at 3-50 in the ninth over.

Mitch Marsh's men found it difficult to come to terms with a fresh pitch that saw balls keep low from the outset and offer inconsistent turn, making Oman's collection of disciplined medium pacers and accurate spinners a handful.

Travis Head (12 off 10), Marsh (14 off 21) and Maxwell were all caught in front of the wicket with Ilyas rousing his mostly Indian- and Pakistan-born teammates when he flew for his wonder-grab.

But Warner showed the wisdom accumulated from 378 career T20s, fighting through to lay a platform for Stoinis, who made his opponents pay for dropping him twice and carrying another catching chance over the rope for six.

After his outside edge induced by an Ilyas leg-break was fluffed by Athavale, Stoinis carted Mehran Khan for four sixes in the following over.

The first six came courtesy of a major let-off by long-off fielder Aayan Khan, who sprinted in too far and while he then hung to the catch, he was back-tracking so hard that his momentum took his body over the rope for six.

Warner waved at his former captain Aaron Finch in the commentary box when he broke his Australian T20I runs record. It was not the 37-year-old's most explosive hand but it proved the perfect tonic to his side's early troubles. 

2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Australia's squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Australia's Group B fixtures

June 6: Defeated Oman by 39 runs

June 9: v England, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 3am AEST

June 12: v Namibia, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, 10.30am AEST

June 16: v Scotland, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia, 10.30am AEST

Super Eights, finals to follow if Australia qualify

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