Cricket

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Steve Smith guides Australia to victory over West Indies in warm-up match; Usman Khawaja suffers injury scare

  • Agence France-Presse
  • May 23rd, 2019
  • 7:55:36 IST

London: Australia's Steve Smith was back in the groove on Wednesday with 76 on his return to cricket in England, but teammate Usman Khawaja suffered an injury scare during the unofficial World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies.

Smith and David Warner returned to international duty earlier this month after completing one-year international bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Australia's Steve Smith plays a shot during a World Cup cricket warm-up match between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane on May 10, 2019. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP) / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE

File image of Australia's Steve Smith. Patrick Hamilton/AFP

Both top-order batsmen took part in three warm-up matches at home to a New Zealand XI, but Wednesday's hastily arranged match in Southampton was their first in England since completing their suspensions.

Wednesday's match saw Smith lead the way as he guided Australia to a modest target of 230 in a seven-wicket win for the reigning world champions.

But there were two concerning moments for the Aussies, whose World Cup campaign starts against Afghanistan in Bristol on 1 June.

Khawaja lasted just two overs before he was struck on the jaw by an Andre Russell bouncer and retired hurt following on-field treatment.

He was later sent to the hospital for a precautionary X-ray.

Warner, who replaced Khawaja at the crease, had made just 12 when was undone by a fearsome bouncer from Oshane Thomas that he could only fend to the wicket-keeper.

Earlier, Evin Lewis and Carlos Brathwaite made fifties for the West Indies.

The lack of advance notice meant there were only a handful of spectators watching a match played on the Nursery Ground at Hampshire's headquarters.

With Australia in England for both the World Cup and a subsequent Ashes series, concerns have been expressed over possible barracking that Smith and Warner might receive from partisan crowds.

That was not an issue on Wednesday — although they could get a more hostile reception when Australia play England in a World Cup warm-up in Southampton on Saturday.

For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: May 23, 2019 07:55:36 IST

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