Adam Zampa took the scalp of the West Indies most dangerous batsman.
Adam Zampa took the scalp of the West Indies most dangerous batsman.

Aussie’s sickening World Cup scare

Usman Khawaja was taken to hospital after being rocked by a bouncer in an eventful start to Australia's run chase in its win over the West Indies in a World Cup warm-up game in Southampton.

Khawaja opened alongside Aaron Finch in pursuit of the Windies' total of 229 and while the captain started smoothly his partner was in a bad way as he walked off the field with the team doctor after copping a sickening blow.

On five in the second over, the left-hander - usually a brilliant player of the pull shot - was struck in the head by Andre Russell's short ball and received medical attention in the middle before leaving the ground feeling his jaw. He was later taken away for a scan on his jaw.

Khawaja has been in outstanding form, impressing in pre-World Cup series wins against India and Pakistan and Australia will be sweating on his fitness ahead of its tournament opener against Afghanistan on June 1.

"It was very scary," said batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored an unbeaten 55 and is vying with Khawaja for a starting spot when Australia faces Afghanistan. "It copped him on the side of the cheekbone ... the main thing is he is OK and can bounce back pretty quickly.

"He was a bit shaken, as you are when you get hit on the head, but he is a tough cookie Uzzy and he'll be ready to go."

Khawaja’s World Cup got off to a horror start.
Khawaja’s World Cup got off to a horror start.

 

Khawaja's exit brought David Warner into the action after the returning star was inserted at first drop rather than his customary opening position - a repeat of the experiment adopted against New Zealand in earlier warm-up games on home soil.

But Warner couldn't do any damage as he edged Oshane Thomas behind for just 12. Steve Smith, also making his first appearance in England since the end of his 12-month ban for the ball tampering saga, came in at No. 4 and got off the mark in style with a six over third man and the news only got better for the former skipper.

He took charge after Finch was dismissed for a brisk 42 from 47 balls, rollicking to a half century as he made batting look easy before departing for a clinical 76 off 82 balls.

There was real concern for the Aussie opener.
There was real concern for the Aussie opener.

Marsh played in a similar vein as he too passed 50 while the Aussies hunted down their target. The veteran ended the innings unbeaten on 55 and Glenn Maxwell was on 18 as they guided their team to 3/230 in the 39th over.

Earlier, the Aussies rolled the West Indies for 229 inside 47 overs. The match, which was classed by the ICC an unofficial practice game, was played on the nursery pitch behind the Ageas Bowl which will be the venue for Saturday's warm-up against England.

It was a low-key return to action in England for Warner and Smith with a crowd of barely 50, including two dogs, making up the crowd. Coach Justin Langer opted to use 12 of his 15-man squad, with Adam Zampa bowling but not batting.

Pat Cummins made the breakthrough for the world champions when his rising delivery caused all sorts of problems for Shai Hope, who was brilliantly caught off the glove by the diving Alex Carey to reduce the Windies to 1/39.

Steve Smith was in fine form.
Steve Smith was in fine form.

Nathan Coulter-Nile, who took 2/25 from six overs, produced a fine delivery to clean up Darren Bravo for five before dismissing the dangerous Shimron Hetmyer, who smashed 11 from eight deliveries then holing out to Cummins in the deep.

The Windies then lost three quick wickets for 30, when Zampa bowled Andre Russell for five before Glenn Maxwell (2/14) trapped Evin Lewis LBW (50) and then tempted Nicolas Pooran with a short delivery and Marsh took the catch on the boundary.

Sunil Ambris (37) and Carlos Brathwaite added 74 for the seventh wicket before Ambris handed Mitchell Starc his first wicket with Jason Behrendorff taking a simple catch.

Brathwaite brought up his half-century and his side's 200 in style, smashing Zampa for a four and a six, which was lost on the golf course next to the ground, in successive balls.

He departed for 60 trying to hit Behrendorff (1/65) for a fourth six of his innings but couldn't clear Marsh on the long-on boundary.

Cummins, who finished with 2/36 from nine overs, was the pick of the bowlers. He beat Fabian Allen (12) for pace and Carey took the catch off the toe of the bat. Starc (2/34) wrapped up the innings by dismissing Ashley Nurse for 11.

News Corp Australia


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