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Australia 159 for 7 (Smith 35, Santner 3-22) beat New Zealand 158 for 7 (Williamson 37, Mitchell 35, Richardson 3-24) by three wickets
David Warner's struggles with the bat continued after the IPL as he was out for a duck, but useful cameos from the rest of Australia's batting order took them to a tight win over New Zealand in the first T20 World Cup warm-up game for both sides in Abu Dhabi.
Steven Smith made a 30-ball 35 while scores in the twenties from Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar helped Australia through in a chase of 159 with three wickets and one ball to spare. Australia needed 19 off the last seven balls when Agar hooked a six before in the final over the uncapped Josh Inglis scooped his first ball for four then edged the winning boundary to third man.
Warner, entering the World Cup on the back of being dropped in the IPL by Sunrisers Hyderabad, was spectacularly caught at slip by Martin Guptill when he charged at Tim Southee first ball of Australia's chase
New Zealand made 158 for 7 - after being asked to bat first - on the back of quickfire runs from Martin Guptill (30), Daryl Mitchell (35), Kane Williamson (37) and James Neesham (31). It was a 70-run partnership from Guptill and Williamson for the third wicket that looked set to take New Zealand to a total higher than their eventual score, but Kane Richardson's triple-blow in the death overs put the brakes on their scoring. Williamson played the game after recovering from an hamstring injury that saw him miss the final game for his IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier this month.
Australia used just five bowlers on the night. While Richardson stood out with his 3 for 24 in his four overs, Mitchell Starc went at 7.50 per over in his four. The third seamer Marsh, however, bore the brunt of the New Zealand batters, conceding 53 runs in his full quota. Adam Zampa was the best spinner for Australia, with his 2 for 17 that included Williamson and Guptill's wickets, while left-arm spinner Agar removed Glenn Phillips in his 1 for 34.
New Zealand, on the other hand, used seven bowling options. Mitchell Santner took 3 for 22 in his four overs and Trent Boult conceded just 13 runs in his three. However, it was an expensive day for the other two New Zealand quicks Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson. In their combined 7.5 overs, the duo leaked 82 runs.
New Zealand - in Group 1 for the main event - now face England in another practice match on October 20 while Australia - in Group B - play India on the same day.
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