Australia Stay Unbeaten In ICC T20 – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

by  Terry Finisterre

Coming in to their final group fixture against Scotland, the 35th match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Australia was much changed, having already qualified to the Super 8 round.

The Scots, meanwhile, needed to win to remain in the competition, at England’s expense. But the men from Down Under overcame a lacklustre display in the field to maintain their 100% winning record in this year’s tournament, and their perfect record against Associate nations in T20 internationals.

In beautiful conditions for cricket, Australia won by five wickets with two balls in hand.

A knock of 60 off 34 balls by Brandon McMullen guided Scotland to 180/5, batting first, the fifth highest total so far in Cricket World Cup 2024, the largest total by an Associate nation against Australia, and Scotland’s greatest batting performance in a Men’s T20 World Cup.

It was an above-par outing for the venue, cheered on by approximately 2,500 spectators. Opener George Munsey’s 35 from 23 balls took him past 2000 runs in T20 internationals, whilst Richie Berrington hit an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls. Scotland were helped, though, by Australia dropping a World T20 record six catches.

Needing 181 to win, Australia were in early trouble as David Warner departed in the second over, with just two runs on the tins. Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell followed inside the first 36 balls, but 30-year-old top order batsman Travis Head held his ground, the lefthander smashing 68 from 49 balls, inclusive of five fours and four sixes. Joined by Marcus Stoinis, the two put on 80 runs for the fourth wicket.

By the time Head was dismissed in the 16th over, to be followed by Stoinis in the 17th, Australia were once more on level terms.

Tim David, who has some familiarity with the conditions at the DSCG, having played for the Saint Lucia Kings in the Caribbean Premier League, delivered the coup de grace with a towering six into the grounds off the antepenultimate ball of the innings.

A win for Australia means that England will advance to the Super 8, as the second-placed team in Group B.

They now travel to Saint Lucia, where their first game in this second round of competition will be against the West Indies on Wednesday, 19 June. Scotland must now have to go through qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup.