Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Aussies end warm-ups on high note
Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell again starred with the bat as Australia took out the third and final practice match in Brisbane
Adam Burnett at Allan Border Field, Brisbane
10 May 2019, 09:43 PM AEST
Australia's home-based World Cup preparations ended on an encouraging high note as they claimed a five-wicket victory (DLS method) over a depleted New Zealand at Brisbane's Allan Border Field on Friday.
For the second time in as many matches, Steve Smith (91no off 108) and Glenn Maxwell (70 from 48) were the star batting turns for the hosts, putting together the key partnership of 104 (91 balls) in Australia's pursuit of 287, although the former skipper also provided the most alarming moment of the day when he appeared to aggravate his still-recovering elbow while running a single.
Pat Cummins returned to a side that was captained by Alex Carey in the absence of a rested Aaron Finch, and the Blues speedster nabbed 4-32 from eight overs in a nice tune-up ahead of another three UK-based warm-up matches leading into Australia's June 1 tournament opener.
Australia have scheduled an unofficial warm-up against the West Indies on May 22 ahead of the two ICC sanctioned official warm-up matches against England and Sri Lanka on May 25 and 27.
Mitchell Starc (1-35) impressed for the second time in three days, finding swing and pace, and getting through eight overs in an encouraging showing.
The Kiwis' total of 9-286 was built around performances from the now familiar faces of Will Young, who scored his second-straight century against the Aussies, and George Worker (59), while Jimmy Neesham put together an impressive cameo of 39 from 27 before a late collapse of 5-23 restricted a total that at one point looked certain to top 300.
Despite not being part of the Black Caps' World Cup squad due to upcoming shoulder surgery, and without an ODI cap to his name, Young has been the dominant batsman of the series, posting scores of 60, 130 and today 111 (108 balls).
And while this week-long warm-up series at Allan Border Field is unofficial, it is worth noting that the right-hander's overall tally of not far short of the New Zealand record for a three-match ODI series (held by Martin Guptill – 330 against England in 2013).
David Warner's unhappy return to the opening slot continued when he was caught behind from the bowling of Matt Henry for two early in the run chase, and when Usman Khawaja (23), Shaun Marsh (32) and Marcus Stoinis (15) all came and went without making telling contributions, it was left to Smith and Maxwell to do the business with Australia at a precarious 4-137.
Just as had happened on Wednesday, the duo settled into a steady partnership, accumulating runs almost at will as grey clouds began to hover above Allan Border Field.
Smith was untroubled in making it consecutive fifties for the series as he returned to his run-making ways (202 for the series for once out), but the moment of most interest occurred in the 32nd over.
The 29-year-old was on 63 when he guided the ball towards short third man, took off for a single and scampered desperately to make his ground, unaware there was no threat from the fielder.
His outstretched bat dug into the turf on the edge of the wicket and appeared to jar his right elbow – the joint which underwent surgery earlier this year.
He spent a minute or so stretching and inspecting it, and was clearly in some discomfort, though he chose to bat on. When drinks were called after the following over, team doctor Richard Saw added some extra strapping to the region and Smith was given the all clear to press on with his innings.
As the shadows grew across the outfield, it was Maxwell who moved the attention squarely back to him courtesy of a series of brutally struck fours and sixes on the leg side.
The right-hander needed only 37 deliveries to fly to a second-straight half-century, after which he immediately unleashed a remarkable switch-hit six over what had a split-second earlier been deep cover point.
He continued his assault but as the light began to falter, he was out 45 runs short of Australia's target.
Minutes later, with 44 overs bowled and Carey (six not out) in the middle, the umpires offered both captains the option to end the match early in what had become near-darkness, and with Australia ahead on the DLS-method, they claimed victory at the end of a evenly-fought week of action between the two sides.
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey (c, wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa
New Zealand XI: Hamish Rutherford, George Worker, Will Young, Tom Blundell, Tom Latham (c, wk), Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Will Somerville, Matt Henry, Seth Rance, Blair Tickner
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
May 22: (warm-up) Australia v West Indies, Southampton
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE