AGENCIES
FATULLAH
Australia came through a riveting clash against New Zealand, edging past its neighbours by three runs in a high-scoring thriller at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah on Wednesday. This was Australia’s only warm-up match of the ICC World Twenty20 2014, while New Zealand ended their warm-up fixtures with two defeats.
Australia had the upper hand after it posted a mammoth 200 for 7 and the bowlers held their nerve to keep New Zealand to 197 for 9 in 20 overs. New Zealand failed to capitalise on a good start provided by Martin Guptill, the opener, who blasted his way to a 34-ball 62. His knock comprised five boundaries and four sixes. Evan as Nathan Coulter-Nile accounted for Kane Williamson (17), Guptill and Brendon McCullum, the captain, associated for a 64-run second-wicket stand.  Despite losing Brendon to James Muirhead for 37, Guptill carried on with three hits to the fence before falling to Muirhead.  Hogg then accounted for Ross Taylor and Colin Munro off successive deliveries in the 14th over as the momentum swung back towards Australia .
Luke Ronchi (29) and Corey Anderson (21) then added 51 runs for the sixth wicket as New Zealand came back briefly, before Mitchell Starc struck to get rid of both well-set batsmen.  New Zealand failed to recover from the double blow. With nine required off the last over, two quick wickets further hurt its chances as New Zealand was left to rue two narrow loses in the warm-up stage. Earlier, David Warner and Aaron Finch, Australia’s openers, turned up the heat right from the start amassing 113 from just 48 balls.
Warner took six balls to get off the mark, while Finch added two boundaries in the second over before taking a particular liking for Kane Williamson’s off-spin, as he hit four fours and a six in the fourth over.
Inspired by his partner’s exploits Warner took charge and hit three sixes and a four off Ronnie Hira’s next over.  Warner raced to his half-century from just 20 balls before retiring out to make way for the middle-order batsmen to get a hit. Finch followed suit and retired out after a 22-ball 47.
Post their departure, the scoring rate slowed, but Australia will feel pleased that Shane Watson (27), George Bailey (19) and Brad Hodge (25) all got valuable time in the middle to capitalise on the good start to work  towards an imposing total. Australia take on Pakistan in their first match of the main round on Sunday (March 23) in Mirpur, while New Zealand squares off against England on Saturday (March 22) in Chittagong.



Scoreboard

AUSTRALIA :
D Warner retired out    65
A Finch retired out    47
S Watson c Guptill b Hira    27
G Maxwell lbw b Devcich    2
G Bailey b Anderson    19
B Hodge c Neesham b Mills    25
C White not out    6
B Haddin b Mills    0
D Christian not out    8
EXTRAS: (w1)    1
TOTAL: (7 wkts; 20 overs)    200
FOW: 1-113, 2-113, 3-117, 4-145, 5-173, 6-188, 7-189
BOWLING: K Mills 4-0-21-2, T Boult 4-0-36-0, K Williamson 1-0-24-0, R Hira 2-0-44-1, J Neesham 2-0-27-0, C Anderson 3-0-23-1, A Devcich 3-0-15-1, C Munro 1-0-10-0
NEW ZEALAND:
M Guptill c Hogg b Muirhead    62
K Williamson c Haddin b Coulter-Nile    17
B McCullum c Maxwell b Muirhead    37
R Taylor c Christian b Hogg    16
C Munro c & b Hogg    1
C Anderson c White b Starc    29
L Ronchi c Christian b Starc    21
J Neesham c White b Coulter-Nile    2
A Devcich run out    3
K Mills not out    1
R Hira not out    1
EXTRAS: (b1, w4, nb2)    7
TOTAL: (9 wkts; 20 overs)    197
FOW: 1-37, 2-98, 3-132, 4-137, 5-137, 6-188, 7-191, 8-192, 9-195
BOWLING: M Starc 3-0-21-2, N Coulter-Nile 4-0-36-2, S Watson 2-0-23-0, D Christian 3-0-29-0, G Hogg 4-0-36-2, J Muirhead 3-0-40-2, C White 1-0-11-0
TOSS: Australia
UMPIRES: Enamul Haque and Sharfuddoula