All-round Stoinis powers Australia to winning start - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

All-round Stoinis powers Australia to winning start

 Stoinis and Warner hit contrasting fifties for Australia.

Stoinis and Warner hit contrasting fifties for Australia. © Getty

Marcus Stoinis became only the third player - after Dwayne Bravo and Shane Watson - to score a half-century and take three or more wickets in a men's T20 World Cup game as Australia opened their campaign with a crushing win over Oman on another tricky surface at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The eventual margin of their win - 39 runs - would point to a straightforward win for a team looking to simultaneously hold ICC trophies in all three formats but Australia did suffer a slight wobble with the bat and needed Stonis and David Warner to bail them out to an above-par score of 164.

What was the turning point?

The 15th over of the first innings. Oman had done exceedingly well through the middle phase until that last over of the middle-overs phase when Stoinis survived a chance early on to plunder four sixes in a 26-run over. That turned Australia's momentum around and allowed them to finish strongly.

Australia

PowerPlay: Australia start steady after opting to bat

Phase Score: 37/1 (RR: 6.17, 4s/6s 6/0)

Travis Head hit the first delivery he faced for a four but it soon became apparent that the sluggish pitch in Barbados wasn't conducive for his hit-through-the-line style of batting. The in-form batter managed one more boundary before toe-edging a delivery from Bilal Khan in the third over. The remainder of the PowerPlay was a function of some fine Oman bowling, who denied any boundary opportunity to David Warner and Mitchell Marsh and with assistance from the pitch, managed to keep the 2021 champions to just 37 in the PowerPlay.

Middle Overs: A 30-ball boundary drought and a belated tee-off

Phase Score : 69/2 (RR: 7.67, 4s/6s: 4/4)

Mehran Khan began the post-PowerPlay phase and offered a friendly full-toss off a free-hit delivery that Warner put away for four. Captain Marsh then powerfully swept his opposite number Aqib Ilyas in the eigth over. If Australia thought it was a sign of a tee-off, then they were mistaken. There were no boundaries for the next 30 deliveries as Oman's bowlers, their skipper in particular, applied the squeeze. Mehran struck off successive deliveries in the ninth over to dismiss Marsh and Glenn Maxwell. The former toe-edged a lofted shot to long-on while the latter's wretched run with the bat continued as he was dismissed for a golden duck by a sensational diving catch at cover by Ilyas.

At the end of 12 overs, Australia were 63/3 and scoring at lesser than a run-a-ball. The tide turned when Warner managed back-to-back boundaries off left-arm spinner Zeeshan Maqsood. Stoinis then broke free in Mehran's final over - the 15th of the innings. It began with an error in judgement from Ayan Khan, who took a catch at long-off but stumbled backwards into the ropes. Stoinis then powered three more sixes, all of them down the ground to plunder 26 off the over.

Death Overs: Stoinis powers Australia to above-par 164

Phase Score: 58/2 (RR: 11.6, 4s/6s: 4/3)

Once unleashed, Stoinis was hard to stop and was able to power the ball to the ropes and beyond them with ease. He also began to expertly manipulate the field. When Oman had straight fields for his hits down the ground, he walked across the stumps and helped a ball past square leg. Oman also dished out full tosses at him, one of which from Bilal Khan he pulled into the stands beyond deep mid-wicket to complete a 27-ball half-century. Warner needed 46 balls to get to his 50 but like Stoinis, got there with a six. The veteran opener, who surpassed Aaron Finch to become Australia's highest run-getter in the format, eventually fell for a 51-ball 56 but Stonis was on hand to close the innings out and walked back unbeaten on a 36-ball 67, having given his side an above-par score.

Oman

PowerPlay: Chase effectively over before it begins

Phase Score: 29/3 (RR: 4.83, 4s/6s: 3/1)

The target always seemed like it was beyond Oman's reach but they'd talked the talk ahead of the match about not conforming to reputations and when Kashyap Prajapati punched the first ball of the chase for four, there was a sign of that spunk translating to the bat. But those glimpses turned out to be rare as Mitchell Starc struck with this third ball, a full in-dipper that caught Pratik Athavale in front of his stumps on review. Oman lost two more wickets in the fielding restrictions with, both to seam. Prajapati played around his pads attempting to flick Nathan Ellis - playing ahead of Pat Cummins - and was trapped LBW. Captain Aqib Ilyas then edged a wobble-seam delivery from Marcus Stoinis two balls after hitting Australia's player of the match for six over deep square-leg.

Middle Overs: More wickets as chase fizzles out

Phase Score: 46/3 (RR: 5.11, 4s/6s: 3/1)

Stoinis extended his fine day with a second wicket when Zeeshan Maqsood tried to swing across the line and only managed a thick edge to the 'keeper. Ayaan Khan found a brace of boundaries off Ellis but at the half-way mark of the chase, Oman were 48/4. Starc returned to dismiss Khalid Kail while Adam Zampa got spin on the board for Australia by yorking and cleaning up Shoaib Khan for his 300th T20 wicket.

Death Overs: Ayaan, Mehran help Oman past 100-mark

Phase Score: 50.3 (RR: 10.00, 4s/6s: 2/3)

At 75/6 after 15 overs, it may have been reasonable to assume that Australia would have run through the lower order. However, there was a token of Oman resistance provided by Amaan and Mehran. The former slogged a pair of sixes off Zampa before miscuing a third attempted shot to fall for a 30-ball 36. Mehran hit Hazlewood for a six and a four and pulled another short ball from Ellis for a six. He eventually became the third of Stoinis' victims on the night, falling for a 16-ball 27 after a fine catch in the deep from Tim David. Oman took back a crumb of positivity by batting all 20 overs and by avoiding being bowled out.

Brief scores: Australia 164/5 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 67*, David Warner 56; Aqib Ilyas 0-18, Mehran Khan 2-38) beat Oman 125/9 (Ayaan Khan 36; Marcus Stoinis 3-19, Adam Zampa 2-24) by 39 runs

What next for the teams?

Australia will stay put in Barbados for the big clash against arch-rivals England on Saturday (June 8). Oman will head over to Antigua, where they'll face Scotland on Sunday.

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