WORLD CUP: Warm-up wins for England and Australia


England completed their World Cup preparations with a nine-wicket thrashing of Afghanistan at The Oval.

On the ground where they will open the tournament against South Africa on Thursday, the hosts dismissed Afghanistan for 160, then chased the target in only 17.3 overs.

At one stage Afghanistan found themselves 92-8 thanks to loose shots, poor running and the pace of Jofra Archer (3-32).

The hitting of Mohammad Nabi, who made 44 and added 33 for the last wicket with Dawlat Zadran, at least gave the noisy Afghan fans something to cheer.

But that was put in the shade by the incredible strokeplay of England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy. They added 77 at a rate of more than 10 an over before Bairstow was stumped off Nabi’s off-spin for 39.

Roy continued, bludgeoning his way to 89 not out from 46 balls, finishing a match that lasted just 56.1 overs with his fourth six.

It completed a day full of good news for England. Not only did the scan of Mark Wood’s left ankle confirm that he will be fit to face South Africa, but captain Eoin Morgan and spinner Adil Rashid returned after respective finger and shoulder injuries. (BBC Sport)

Usman Khawaja

SUMMARY: Australia 241-5 (Khawaja 89, Vandersay 2-51) beat Sri Lanka 239-8 (Thirimanne 56, Zampa 2-39) by five wickets

David Warner was rested due to leg soreness and Steven Smith did all his batting in the nets, as Australia’s other big names Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc revved into rhythm and form in a comprehensive defeat of Sri Lanka in the World Cup warm-up match at the Hampshire Bowl.

Usman Khawaja compiled an attractive 89 to press his case for the No. 3 batting spot, given intense competition for places that see him effectively duelling with Shaun Marsh for one spot, guiding Australia most of the way to victory with 31 balls to spare.

Using their pace and bounce to good effect, Cummins and Starc conceded a mere 19 runs from the final four overs of Sri Lanka’s innings to restrict Dimuth Karunaratne’s team to a mere 239 for 8, after they struggled to build momentum against Australia’s varied bowling attack on a slow and wearing pitch – the same one used for Australia’s earlier win over England on Saturday.

Combined figures of 2 for 61 from 17 overs left Starc (still recovering from a throat ailment) and Cummins in decent fettle ahead of their tournament opener against Afghanistan, their speed nicely complemented by the spin of Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell and Smith. Marcus Stoinis, too, showed signs of value, swinging the ball enough to discomfort set batsmen. (ESPNCricinfo)


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