In Antigua: AUSTRALIA became the second team to qualify for the Super Eight quarterfinal stage of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup


NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC): RUTHLESS AUSTRALIA became the second team to qualify for the Super Eight quarterfinal stage of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup after a destructive spell from leg-spinner Adam Zampa spurred them to a record nine-wicket win against Namibia on Tuesday in Antigua.

The 32-year-old bagged four for 12 from his allotted four overs and claimed his 100th T20 International wicket as the Australians, reigning Test and One-day International world champions, bowled out the Namibians for 72 in 17 overs in their Group B match at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Left-handed opener Travis Head then hit 34 from 17 balls and shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 53 with his captain, Mitchell Marsh, not out on 18, to lead the Aussies to 74 for one.

The result took just 34 balls, Australia’s quickest successful run chase in a T20 International.

Marsh brought the match to a flourishing end when he cut pacer Jack Brassell for a four through point, a six off a slower ball swung over deep mid-wicket, and a four he drove ferociously through mid-off while moving down the pitch off successive balls.


The win was the third for Australia on the bounce after they beat Oman by 39 runs last Wednesday at Kensington Oval in Barbados, where they also prevailed over England by 36 runs this past Saturday. They now lead Group B with six points.

The result carried Australia above Scotland to the top of the group, with the two sides set to meet on Saturday at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia in their final group match.

A win for Scotland – second on five points from their three matches – will eliminate defending champions England, who must beat Oman and Namibia handsomely in their remaining matches to stand any chance of progressing to the next round.

“To get the win and qualify for the Super Eights, that is a nice feeling,” Zampa said.

“I bowled a couple of pies [in this match], but in general, the ball feels like it is coming out well. I am being encouraged to pick up wickets in the middle, particularly by the captain … We are happy. It is the first step in trying to take the trophy home but a long way to go (still).”

The Namibians were already reeling on 21 for four after the Australian pacers – led by Josh Hazlewood – had carved up the top-order batting of the African side when Zampa struck with his fifth ball and got Zane Green lbw for one.

Zampa got David Wiese caught at long-on for one in his next over and struck twice in his third over when he had Ruben Trumpelmann caught at deep mid-wicket for seven and bowled Bernard Scholtz for a duck two balls later.

Namibia were 43 for eight, and there was to be no comeback story, with their captain, Gerhard Erasmus, finishing with the top score of 36.

“For an ICC associate nation, I think these big games are always gold dust in the sense that you get a physical run out with the best in the world and you tend to face different ball speeds, different skills at a very high quality, a very high consistency,” Erasmus said.

“Whether it’s a game that runs very close or one that you even lose quite far, it’s still gold dust that you need to sort of try your best to take in every moment of that and every sort of experience that you can because they don’t come around often.”

Marcus Stoinis, opening the bowling for the Aussies in place of injured left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc, ended with two for nine from three overs, and Hazlewood finished with two for 18 from four overs.

David Warner got Australia off to a blistering start with three fours and one six in 20 off eight balls before Wiese got him caught at mid-off in the second over, and Marsh joined Head to usher their side over the finish line.

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