Stoinis stands firm with ton as Australia collapse

2018-06-07 19:09
Cricket Australia

Hove - Marcus Stoinis kept his head as wickets tumbled around him, hitting a century as Australia made 277 for nine against Sussex on Thursday in their first match since the 'ball-tampering' tour of South Africa.

Australia, sent into bat in Hove, were all set for a total in excess of 300 at 167 for one, with Aaron Finch making 78 in this warm-up game for a five-match one-day international series against 2019 World Cup hosts England.

But his exit sparked a collapse as World Cup-holders Australia lost four wickets for 13 runs in 31 balls.

Stoinis, though, held firm with a near run-a-ball 110.

Sussex's spinners did the damage, left-armer Danny Briggs taking two for 42 in his maximum 10 overs and leg-spinner Luke Wells two for 44.

Australia are looking to restore their reputation after one of the most humiliating episodes in their cricket history.

Former Australia captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner received year-long bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal during the third Test in Cape Town in March.

Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft, who applied sandpaper to the ball, was banned for nine months.

The tour ended with Australia losing the fourth Test in Johannesburg by 492 runs as South Africa completed a 3-1 series win in April.

In addition to the banned trio, Australia are now also without injured frontline fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, as well as sidelined all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

Finch and the uncapped D'Arcy Short put on 74 for the first wicket against wayward pace bowling from Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan.

But Briggs struck third ball to have Short lbw for 21.

Finch completed a 54-ball fifty including eight fours, while Stoinis twice drove England international Briggs for straight sixes.

Not to be outdone, Finch hit Abi Sakande straight back over the medium-pacer's head.

But his innings ended when, trying to pull Archer, he feathered a catch through to wicket-keeper Ben Brown, the Sussex captain.

Finch's dismissal ended a second-wicket stand of 93 with Stoinis.

Wickets then fell quickly.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell (one) chipping Wells to mid-off before Travis Head (two) was lbw to Briggs.

Australia captain Tim Paine was caught and bowled Wells for two.

Stoinis's late-cut four off Wells saw him to a 103-ball century including eight fours and four sixes before he holed out in the deep off Archer.

Read more on:    australia  |  cricket


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