Aussie warm-up ends in damp squib

29 May 2017

Just 10.2 overs possible before Birmingham's weather ruins Australia-Pakistan match

ICC Champions Trophy Warm-Ups, One-day warm-up


Australia's XI for their ICC Champions Trophy opener against New Zealand on Friday remains unclear after their final warm-up match ahead of the tournament was ruined by bad weather in the English midlands on Monday.

Less than 11 overs were possible in the match against Pakistan at Edgbaston before the heavens opened, a frustrating outcome for the Aussies given they had enjoyed warm and sunny weather since they arrived in the UK more than a week ago.

Only David Warner (11), Aaron Finch (36no) and skipper Steve Smith (8no) saw any action out in the middle, meaning batsman Chris Lynn, spinner Adam Zampa as well as allrounders Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques were all denied another chance to push their case for inclusion against the Black Caps.

It also means pacemen Mitchell Starc and John Hastings, who were both rested for the opening warm-up game against Sri Lanka last week, will go into the tournament without a match under their belts so far on tour.

May 26: Australia v Sri Lanka in 60 seconds

Skipper Smith, who was also rested from the opening match, as well as allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who was dismissed for a golden duck against Sri Lanka before missing the Pakistan match due to a bruised knee cap, would have also ideally liked more time in the middle before the tournament gets underway.

But Hastings says he personally is unfazed about missing out having spent the past two months in the UK playing English county cricket.

"I've been over here playing for Worcester and I've had (seven) one-day games leading up to this tournament," he said.

"I had a centre-wicket hit-out the other day so as far as game practice and all that sort of stuff and knowing English conditions, I am as ... prepared as anyone."

Hastings reflects on difficult period

The coin toss was delayed by more than two hours in the morning and the match reduced to 34 overs per side as persistent but light drizzle plagued the Birmingham venue.

When the umpires did hand the captains the coin, Smith came up trumps and opted to unleash his batting firepower under cloudy skies.

Finch took full toll of the incredibly short square boundary on the western side of the ground, which the International Cricket Council said was just 42 metres long.

Quick Single: Batsmen target 42 metre boundary

The right-hander, who hit a superb 137 against Sri Lanka last Friday to secure his spot in the side for Australia's tournament opener, hit seven boundaries, five of them to the shorter side of the ground.

One of his seven fours was a cover drive that first landed just outside the inner fielding circle and the ball didn't bounce again before passing over the boundary rope and clattering into the fence.

"I've played on a couple over here," Hastings said after play when asked if he'd ever played in a match featuring such a short boundary.

"Early season over here they don't like to use the middle of the wicket too much. I played one at Lord's about three years ago when I was playing for Durham against Middlesex and the boundary was that close as well. They're not shy about a short boundary over here early season.

"It's just one of those things. You are just grateful for a practice session. At least it's at the ground we are playing at (on Friday) so we get to work out on the nets as well as the outfield and I think that is the most important thing."

The one bit of joy for Pakistan was the wicket of Warner, who struck two boundaries before he got a thin edge behind attempting a pull shot and was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, diving in front of first slip.

The match was not an official One-Day International, allowing both sides to play more than 11 players and maximise game time ahead of the tournament, so a boundary that was well short of the ICC's minimum length requirement (59.43 metres) to constitute an official match was permitted.

Edgbaston is set to host five matches in less than a fortnight during the tournament itself, so the pitches closer to the centre of the ground are being preserved for those bigger matches in the coming weeks.

And with the venue for this year's final, The Oval, set to host six matches in this tournament, using the extremities of the centre wicket block for the warm-up games at both venues will help to reduce deterioration in the coming weeks.

Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy squad named so far

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.

Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.


Warm-up matches

26 MayAustralia d Sri Lanka by two wickets, The Oval

27 May Bangladesh lost to Pakistan by two wickets, Edgbaston

28 May India d New Zealand by 45 runs (D/L Method), The Oval

29 May Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston

30 May New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston

30 May India v Bangladesh, The Oval


1 JuneEngland v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)

2 JuneAustralia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)

3 JuneSri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)

4 JuneIndia v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)

6 JuneEngland v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)

7 JunePakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)

8 JuneIndia v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)

9 JuneNew Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)

10 JuneEngland v Australia, Edgbaston (D)

11 JuneIndia v South Africa, The Oval (D)

12 JuneSri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 JuneFirst semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 JuneSecond semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 JuneFinal, The Oval (D)

19 June – Reserve day (D)

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