Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat as Australia beat a depleted New Zealand XI by five wickets via the DLS method at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Friday. Former Australian captain Smith (91 n.o. off 108) and Maxwell (70 from 48) joined hands for a key partnership of 104 (91 balls) in Australia’s pursuit of 287. There was a big moment of worry for the hosts when Smith appeared to have hurt his still-recovering elbow while running a single. In the bowling department, Pat Cummins returned to the side captained by Alex Carey in the absence of a rested Aaron Finch. Cummins snared 4/32 from eight overs as Mitchell Starc (1/35) impressed for the second time in three days.
The Aussies will play another three UK-based warm-up matches leading up to their June 1 World Cup opener. The Kiwis put up 286/9 thanks to Will Young, who scored his second straight century against the Aussies, and George Worker (59). World Cup-bound Jimmy Neesham stuck a cameo of 39 from 27 before a late collapse of 23/5 restricted the total. Another cause of concern for Australia is David Warner’s unhappy return to the opening slot with the dashing southpaw managing just 2 runs in this game before being caught behind from the bowling of Matt Henry.
Usman Khawaja (23), Shaun Marsh (32) and Marcus Stoinis (15) also did not contribute much as the Aussies were tottering at 137/4 before Smith and Maxwell steadied the ship and took them over the line.