Starc takes hat-trick before rain intervenes

Mitchell Starc took a brilliant hat-trick as Australia’s bowlers flexed their muscles against the Netherlands on another rain-interrupted day of warm-up matches for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

The match in Thiruvananthapuram was reduced to just 23 overs per side because of consistent afternoon rain but Starc was worth the wait as he ripped through the Netherlands’ top order.

Further rain prevented a result, while the day’s other match between India and England was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

Magic Mitchell in top form 

With 49 wickets in his last two 50-over World Cups, Mitchell Starc knows how to peak at the perfect time for cricket’s biggest event – and it appears he has done so once again.

Chasing 167 to win, the Netherlands hoped for a fast start but Starc had other ideas. Taking the first over, he struck with just his fifth ball by trapping Max O’Dowd LBW for a duck and then bowled Wesley Barresi.

At the beginning of his second over, he completed the hat-trick by again careering into an unsuspecting batter’s stumps – this time Bas de Leede’s.

Colin Ackermann’s unbeaten 31 offered some resistance before more rain fell in the 15th over, with the Netherlands 84 for six, and prevented a result. 

Earlier, Australia elected to bat and lost opener Josh Inglis in just the second over, but Steve Smith and Alex Carey staged a 57-run partnership before the wicketkeeper was bowled by Roelof van der Merwe for 28. 

Smith, who like Starc was a member of Australia’s 2015 World Cup-winning squad, top-scored for Australia with a fluent 55 and was supported by all-rounder Cameron Green (34) and Starc (24). 

India v England washed out 

Rain arrived just 10 minutes before the first ball was due to be bowled in Guwahati and did not relent, forcing India v England to be abandoned.

England, who start the defence of their title against New Zealand in the tournament’s opening game on Thursday, are due to play Bangladesh on Monday, while India play the Netherlands on Tuesday. 

Scores in brief 

Australia 166/7 v Netherlands 84/6 at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram – No Result 

Australia 166/7 in 23 overs (Steve Smith 55, Cameron Green 34; Roelof van der Merwe 2/12, Bas de Leede 2/25) v Netherlands 84/6 (Colin Ackermann 31 not out, Scott Edwards 14; Mitchell Starc 3/18, Sean Abbott 1/10) 

India v England at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati – Match Abandoned

© ICC 2023

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