Home » Warner roasted as Australia’s dire equation becomes clear

Warner roasted as Australia’s dire equation becomes clear

Join our live coverage as we highlight all the big talking points or follow the match centre above.Australia v Afghanistan9:05PM: GAME ON IN ADELAIDEAustralia has its first wicket of the innings thanks to Josh Hazlewood. Afghan opener Ghani skies one and it Pat Cummins make the grab look very difficult.That’s the first step on Australia’s quest to knock Afghanistan over for 106 - the total that will push them ahead of England’s run rate.INNINGS BREAK: AUSTRALIA ONE INNINGS AWAY FROM DISASTERAustralia has stumbled badly in their first step towards trying to secure a possible place in the T20 World Cup semifinals by posting a modest total against cricket minnows Afghanistan.Sent into bat under lights at Adelaide Oval, the reshuffled Aussie team managed just 8-168, their second highest total of the tournament, but way less than what they expected.Needing to make a huge score to boost their poor net run rate, only Glenn Maxwell managed a half-century on a perfect batting deck after a bizarre sequence of brain explosions from the top order.Maxwell finished unbeaten on 54 from 32 balls after Mitch Marsh (45), David Warner (25) and Marcos Stoinis (25) failed to go on with the job after making promising starts.Warner threw his wicket away in comical fashion when he switched from left to right handed and was clean bowled, while Marsh skied one straight up in the air and Stoinis guided a simple catch to backward point.Steve Smith and Cameron Green both failed after being called into the team to replace injured captain Aaron Finch and the big-hitting Tim David - with both players ruled out because of hamstring strains.The selectors also made another change - which caught everyone by surprise - when they dropped fast bowler Mitchell Starc and replaced him with Kane Richardson.Australia’s lower than expected total means New Zealand is now guaranteed a place in the semifinals.To join the Kiwis, Australia needs to beat Afghanistan and hope that England lost to Sri lanka on Saturday.If England wins, the last semi berth will come down to net run rate and Australia needs to bowl Afghanistan out for less than 106 just to overtake England’s run rate.Promoted to opener, Green made just three before he was caught a slip, triggering a minute collapse that saw the defending champions lose three wickets in the power play.Smith managed just four before he was trapped lbw - then compounded his mistake by wasting a review.“It’ll be competitive. I thought Afghanistan bowled well,” Marsh said.“We’d obviously like a few more with the situation we’re in but first things first we need to win the game.“Hopefully we can put pressure on them with early wickets. The (pitch) slowed up a touch, probably a par score. Tried to push the button earlier, a few of us got out trying to kick on“It’s not often you find yourselves in these situations. Going to take something special tonight, hopefully we can do that with the ball.”8:14PM: AND THEN THERE WERE TWOEvery time Australia forms a partnership, a stupid shot choice or decision brings them undone.The culprit this time is Marcus Stoinis. The big-hitting all-rounder bites off more than he can chew, attacking Rashid Khan after being served a handful of dollys.Stand-in skipper Matthew Wade joins Maxwell in Australia’s last stand.7:54PM: AUSTRALIA’S LAST HOPEMitch Marsh, that wasn’t the plan ...Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were humming along, seeing off Khan and co while attacking the quick bowlers - until the former Test all-rounder thought it a good idea to attack tweaker Mujeeb Ur Rahman.Commentator Mark Howard nearly had a bigger ‘Barry’ than Marsh with his call.“The keeper takes the couch and drops at!” Howie screamed. “In the end! Held it and he did catch it! Marsh cannot believe it. He departs.”Yeah, he held it, Howie.The big West Australian skied a sweep shot. Enter the Big Show.7.38PM: WARNER ROASTED AS AUSSIE COLLAPSEDavid Warner, what were you thinking?Re-called superstar Steve Smith comes to the crease after his old partner in crime commits one in the final over of the power play.The left-hander turns right-hander and gets it totally wrong as his wicket splits.This statement from BBC cricket commentator Alex Hartley sums up Warner’s shot: “He’s played a cover drive like a four-year-old would in the back garden”.The pile-on didn’t stop there, with the Twitterati not holding back in its assessment of Warner’s bizarre dismissal.Oh dear, it gets worse for the Aussies. Next man to go is Smith. That is plumb. Do not review that ... his review confirms what the world already knew. Australia is three down after six.7.26PM: WARNER, MARSH GO BANGCameron Green’s wicket hasn’t slowed Australia’s fast start - and it has been helped Afghanistan’s appalling fielding. David Warner’s positive running between wickets is causing mass confusion for the Afghanis, with the speedster forcing several overthrows.Of more concern for the visitors is the combined power hitting of new man Mitch Marsh and Warner.The pair has pushed the run rate to just under 10 an over through five. As ‘sad’ as it is, Aaron Finch’s absence may be the exilir Australia need.7.15PM: WARNER GOES BIG, GREEN FLOPSThis deck is a belter. There’s really no excuse for a top order failure for the Aussies.David Warner has out scored his previous three innings (11) at this tournament.The Bull - or whatever he goes by these days - means business ... the same can’t be said for his opening partner, Cam Green, who fails to make the most of his call-up, edging to first slip on the second ball faced.On a side note, the great Aleem Dar officiating his 69th T20 international ...TOSS: AFGHANISTAN WIN THE TOSS, TEAM NEWSAfghanistan has won the toss and will bowl first on slowish deck that will suit superstar and ‘hometown’ lad Rashid Khan.Steve Smith has been recalled to the Australian team for Friday’s must-win T20 World Cup match after captain Aaron Finch was sensationally ruled out.Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will take over as skipper after Finch - who has been suffering a hamstring injury - failed a fitness test and the selectors made some stunning late changes.In a major surprise, Mitchell Starc was left out and replaced by paceman Kane Richardson.Tim David, who has a similar injury to Finch, was also left out, with all-rounder Cameron Green taking his place in the lineup.Afghanistan won the toss and sent Australia into bat.Needing to win the game and improve their net run rate, the Aussies are expected to go out all guns blazing in the hope of posting a total in excess of 200.This could be catnip for Smudge. The frisky former captain has been relegated beyond the boundary this tournament but doesn’t he love this kind of scenario. No one in Australian cricket plays the hero better than him.Australia XI: David Warner, Cam Green, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matt Wade, Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh HazlewoodSO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE?TEAM NEWS: AARON FINCH OUTAaron Finch has played his last international match for Australia.The Australian skipper failed to overcome a hamstring injury. Wicketkeeper Matt Wade will lead the side.Finch was spotted with a baseball glove less than an hour before the must-win clash against Afghanistan.It’s a sad end for the captain but his absence could be a blessing in disguise for Australia who need a massive victory and even bigger net run rate.KIWIS SURVIVE SCARE AGAINST IRELANDAustralia’s slim chances of making the T20 World Cup semi-finals just got even harder.The first cricket miracle that every Australian supporter was praying for failed to materialise when Ireland lost to New Zealand at Adelaide Oval.An upset win by the Irish would have left the Aussies needing only to win their last group match against Afghanistan to qualify for the semis but it was not to be.Despite a stunning late hat-trick from Irish pacer Josh Little, the Kiwis cruised to a comfortable 35-run win to all but clinch their spot in the semis.Although still not mathematically assured with two more group one matches still to be played, the Kiwis are a shoo-in to finish at the top of the standings because of their superior net run rate.Sent into bat first, the Blackcaps posted another daunting total of 6-185, with skipper Kane Williamson top scoring with a rapid fire 61 off 35 balls.Openers Finn Allen (32) and Devon Conway (28) laid the foundations with a 52-run stand in the power play and Daryl Mitchel finished the job with an unbeaten 31 after Little bagged a rare hat-trick in the 19th over.He started off by dismissing Williamson, caught at deep backward square, then trapped James Neesham and Mitchell Santner lbw on the next two deliveries.The Irish mustered just 9-150 in reply in their last World Cup appearance.They got off to a flying start when Paul Stirling (37) and skipper Andy Balbirnie (30) piled on 68 from the first eight overs, but once they departed the rest of the batting line-up crumbled as the Kiwis cantered home.HOMETOWN HERO CAN KILL AUSTRALIAAustralia’s chances of posting a gigantic total against T20 World Cup minnows Afghanistan have suffered a late blow after spin whiz Rashid Khan was cleared to play.The world’s No. 1 T20 bowler, Khan was in doubt for Friday’s match at Adelaide Oval after having some knee and back problems but has been given the thumbs up.“He‘s fine now. He is very good and he’s participating in the net session so he’s OK,” Afghanistan assistant coach Rais Ahmadzai said.“Everyone is okay and we want to finish the tournament with some positive things.“It‘s not going to be an easy game for us to play against Australia in these conditions but they will be under pressure because they want to win.”Although Khan has never played a T20 international against Australia before, the 24-year-old leg-spinner is no stranger to all the players and has been at the centre of every discussion about what the team needs to do to win.“I reckon everyone would have played him a number of times over the years in either BBL or IPL, things like that,” Australian skipper Aaron Finch said.“Each guy will have their own individual plans but I certainly wasn‘t expecting him to miss. I’d be surprised if he did.”A star performer for the Adelaide Strikers in Big Bash, Khan will be right at home on the spin friendly wicket, where he once claimed a hat-trick in the BBL.His battle with Australia’s star spinner Adam Zampa, who is currently seventh in the T20I world rankings, promises to be one of the keys to the match.The danger for the Aussies is what happens when they chase quick runs to boost their net run rate in the hope of sneaking into the finals.Taking on Khan brings heightened risk but Finch said everyone was ready for the challenge.“We always prepare for anything that they‘ve got and Rashid is obviously as good as anyone in the world,” Finch said.“I don‘t think that changes how we go about it a huge amount.“The guys still do all their planning and preparation.” Updates to story

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