Warner, Zampa Star As Australia Beat West Indies In 1st T20

(AFP)— David Warner slammed 70 off 36 balls in his 100th Twenty20 international and Adam Zampa grabbed three wickets as Australia beat the West Indies by 11 runs in the opening clash of their three-match series on Friday.

The hosts crunched 213-7 after being sent in to bat on a windy and cold Hobart evening.

The visitors put up a valiant fight but they could only manage 202-8, with Zampa taking 3-26.

Warner, who became only the third man after New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and India’s Virat Kohli to play 100 internationals in each format, hit 12 fours and a six in his explosive knock to anchor the Australia innings.

“Pleasing to get the win on the board. I feel refreshed and a lot of energy,” said Warner.

“I said I want to play the Twenty20 World Cup and finish there and I’m excited and it’s a good journey we’ve got going through the next six months.”

The West Indies hammered 16 off the opening over from Jason Behrendorff in a perfect start to the chase and put on 72 without loss in the six-over powerplay, just five shy of what Australia managed.

But when Johnson Charles fell for 42 to Zampa and Brandon King for 53 to Marcus Stoinis after an 89-run stand, the wheels began coming off.

Stoinis accounted for Shai Hope (16) and Glenn Maxwell removed Rovman Powell (14).

It left the West Indies needing 72 from the final five overs, but when Zampa snared two more wickets in four balls it blunted the charge and the win proved out of reach.

“We struggled to get partnerships, but it was a good game of cricket,” said West Indies skipper Powell. “We just have to back ourselves a little bit more.”

Warner smacked five boundaries from his first 10 balls, including four in Jason Holder’s opening over.

The 37-year-old brought up his 25th T20 half-century off just 22 balls to send a clear message to selectors that he plans to be in contention for the World Cup later this year.

He was eventually out to a slower Alzarri Joseph delivery, gloving to Nicolas Pooran behind the stumps.

With Travis Head and Steve Smith rested, Josh Inglis opened with Warner and was equally aggressive in thumping 39 off 25 balls until removed by Holder, offering Powell a simple catch at mid-off.

Mitchell Marsh was dealing with COVID in the lead-up but showed few ill effects in hitting a giant six off Andre Russell to help Australia reach 110-1 at the halfway mark before being caught behind off Joseph for 16.

The run rate eased when Warner departed before Tim David took up the mantle with an explosive unbeaten 37 off 17 balls.