Adam Zampa ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/adam-zampa-379504) has had to deal with back, neck, shoulder, and glute complaints – and even illness – in this World Cup, but he has overcome them to revive Australia’s campaign. After taking 4 for 47 against Sri Lanka in Lucknow ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-1367856/australia-vs-sri-lanka-14th-match-1384405/full-scorecard), the legspinner bagged another four-wicket haul against Pakistan in Bengaluru ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-1367856/australia-vs-pakistan-18th-match-1384409/full-scorecard) on Friday, to help Australia secure their second successive victory. This, after they had started the tournament with back-to-back losses.
Australia captain Pat Cummins ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/pat-cummins-489889) was pleased with Zampa’s latest effort, which helped his side defend 367 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, which often spooks bowlers with its small dimensions and easy-paced pitch. Zampa claimed the key wickets of both captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the highest run-getter ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/records/tournament/batting-most-runs-career/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-15338) in the tournament so far, to kill off the chase.
“Yeah, Lazarus has been awesome,” Cummins told Star Sports at the post-match presentation. “He’s been in the bed for the last week or two. He was fantastic, and he just showed his class. He’s a real wicket-taker in the middle. Babar Azam and Iftikhar [Ahmed] at the end when he was going – two big wickets.”
Marcus Stoinis, Zampa’s close friend and team-mate, felt that this was Zampa’s best spell in this World Cup.
“I’m very happy for Lazarus (laughs). He’s had a flu, he’s had a sore back, he’s had a bad neck and he’s had a bad glute,” Stoinis said. “But he’s been bowling really well. This game was the best he has bowled, I reckon. So, he will rest up today and come strong tomorrow.”
Zampa – and Australia – will have a four-day break before they face Netherlands in Delhi.
Cummins also credited David Warner and Mitchell Marsh for setting up Australia’s victory on Friday with a 259-run opening stand. Both batters scored century and at one point Warner even threatened to convert it into a double-hundred. Pakistan’s bowlers then clawed their way back in the slog overs, but the openers had already inflicted severe damage on their attack by then.
“Yeah, that was a great win,” Cummins said. “Pretty tough playing here at Chinnaswamy, but good to get a win. Yeah, that was proper from those two [David Warner and Mitchell Marsh]. That kind of set the tone for how we want to play our cricket: take the game on. Eighty-odd in the powerplay was fantastic and I can’t ask for any more. That [batting through] in ODI cricket is key and it can look easy at times and hard to get the breakthrough. You just need one breakthrough and the next guy suddenly looks a bit different. So, it was great.”
Just five days ago, Australia were rooted to the bottom of the points table ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-1367856/points-table-standings). They’ve now climbed up into the top four and are looking like serious contenders for the title once again.