Smith, Starc shine even as Australia lose to NZ XI

Brisbane: A classy century by Will Young helped New Zealand XI beat Australia XI in their second World Cup warm-up game on Wednesday.

New Zealand made impressively light work of their chase off 278 on the back of a brilliant 130 from Young, who shared consecutive century stands with George Worker (56) and Tom Latham (69*).

However, the Australian management would be happy with the fact that four of their key players put up telling performances during the course of the game.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc bowled at a brisk pace and took two wickets with his trademark yorkers, finishing with figures of 2/14 from five overs before he was withdrawn from the action midway through New Zealand’s chase.

Other noticeable performances for the Australian team came from Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell as all of them scored half centuries and showed signs of returning to form.

Smith, who didn’t have a great IPL, looked in great touch as he amassed 89* off 77 deliveries in which he scored four boundaries and four sixes. Khawaja, who came in at number three, played a 75-ball 56 run knock.

Maxwell also played a brisk cameo of 52 which came off 44 balls. He hit six boundaries and two sixes during the course of his inning.

However, Australia’s 277/6 wasn’t sufficient as New Zealand chased down the target losing just three wickets and with 16 balls to spare.

The final match between the two teams will be played on Friday.

Brief scores: Australia XI: 277/6 (Smith 89*, Khawaja 56, Maxwell 52, Bracewell 3/45); New Zealand XI: 283/3 (Young 130, Latham 69*, Worker 56, Starc 2/14)