Thursday, February 29, 2024

Tail up Kangaroos


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Dharamsala, Oct 27: An upbeat Australia will look to maintain their winning momentum and extend their dominant record against New Zealand in the World Cup, when the Trans-Tasman rivals face each other in a block-buster clash here on Saturday.
Australia bounced back from a poor start — defeats against hosts India and South Africa — with three wins on the trot, including a record 309-run thumping of the Netherlands in their last outing to sound warning bells to their opponents.
Entering a crucial phase in the tournament, the five-time champions are currently placed at fourth position, one spot behind New Zealand after five games each. And the Pat Cummins-led side would look to carry forward the momentum and strengthen their position in the top four.
Even though New Zealand have been one of the top teams in the competition, their ordinary bilateral ODI and World Cup against Australia makes Cummins and Co the favourites. With eight wins and three losses in 11 matches in World Cups so far and overall 95 wins and 39 losses in 141 ODIs, Australia have historically been the better team in the Trans-Tasman rivalry.
The fact that New Zealand’s last ODI win over Australia came six years ago in 2017 would also have a great bearing on the contest here, to be played at the picturesque HPCA Stadium.
For Australia, apart from brushing aside the Dutch mercilessly, the biggest takeaway was that they produced a collective effort without an blips.Australia’s 399 for 8 against the Netherlands is now the third-highest total in this World Cup for any side, but they could have had another record had the batters not squandered a perfect platform against Pakistan.
Australia were cruising at 259 for no loss in the 34th over against Pakistan but added only 108 runs in the remaining 16 overs for the loss of nine wickets.
David Warner’s (332 runs) two consecutive tons have taken him into top three among run-getters in this World Cup. (PTI)


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