T20 World Cup: Expected tough batting conditions - Stoinis after leading Australia to win

Marcus Stoinis
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Marcus Stoinis

Highlights

  • Australia pulled off a close 5-wicket win over South Africa
  • Stoinis and Wade remained unbeaten during Australia’s chase
  • Hazlewood was Player of the Match for picking 2 wickets

Marcus Stoinis said Australia expected batting to be tough to an extent after leading his side to a five-wicket win over South Africa in Group 1 game of Super 12 in T20 World Cup on Saturday.

Aaron Finch won the toss in Abu Dhabi and asked South Africa to bat. The Proteas had a slow start as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Josh Hazlewood, who was the eventual Player of the Match, bagged two wickets for 19 runs in four overs. South Africa ended up scoring just 118 for 9 in 20 overs.

The chase was not a smooth ride for the Aussies as they lost their skipper, Finch, in the second over for a five-ball duck. Even David Warner got out for 14 off 15 a few overs later. After Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith took charge of their chase in the middle overs, the job was eventually finished by Stoinis and Matthew Wade.

Stoinis struck three boundaries as he remained unbeaten on 24 off 16, while Wade scored 15 not out off 10 balls.

"The main thing for me there was actually just trying to stay as calm as I can, and for a Greek Australian, that's pretty hard. I mean, you saw a bit of emotion come out toward the end but the main thing is we were communicating, trying to sort out who was going to bowl, make a plan and then stay calm from there," Stoinis said at the post-match press conference after helping Australia chase down 119 on Saturday.

On being asked about the conditions at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Stoinis said," It's what we expected to -- to an extent. I mean, it was quite hard to get under the ball because it was skidding on quite a bit. It was more skidding on and it wasn't too quick. So it's hard to get under and up, under the ball.

But I guess partnerships is the key, and then get used to the conditions while you're out there. It's one thing having a plan but you also have to work things out on the fly while you're out there. We saw through the IPL the scores were not as high as they have been in the past and that might be a trend we'll see in the World Cup."

Australia, who are yet to win the T20 World Cup, are coming off losses in five consecutive T20I series. By kickstarting the ICC event with a close win would have given tremendous confidence to Finch's boys.

"Yeah, I think it's important to start tournaments like this on the right foot I guess. I mean, it's obvious that you want to win, but yeah, in these short tournaments, I think no matter how you win, it's always a better feeling. You wake up the next morning; it's always better winning than losing. So yeah, hopefully good times ahead," Stoinis added.

Stoinis: Unfortunate for Agar to miss out

Maxwell, who scored over 500 runs in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) and also picked up three wickets, was included in the playing XI ahead of Aston Agar. When Stoinis was asked if Australia are planning to continue with this, the all-rounder said," I think to an extent, matchup, but Maxi's is a brilliant Twenty20 bowler. I don't think there are any easy choices. So it's really unfortunate. But I also do think there's going to be -- I think everyone is going to get used in this tournament.

The conditions, we have to adapt as we go. He's got such a good record. He's been so good for us. So I wouldn't be counting anything out."



Meanwhile, Hazlewood also praised Maxwell, saying the latter bowled well, after the match ended in Abu Dhabi.

"I think the length was the key, anything full was easy to score. Hence, the length was crucial on this wicket. He (de Kock) is pretty good with that (ramp) shot, but unfortunately that short ball hit his glove and it popped up onto the stumps, was good to see the back of Quinny (de Kock).

The wicket here is a bit slower in the day time, and the ball skids on nicely at night. The bowlers did a great job, Maxwell bowled well. It got closer towards the end, but we had the confidence in those guys (Wade and Stoinis), we knew they would get us over the finishing line," said Hazlewood during the post-match presentation.

Australia next take on Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday (Oct. 28).

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