Monday, May 27, 2024

ICC: Zampa at his best even when he isn’t

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Photo Credit: ICC

Some days even when things go wrong, they go right and that was the case for Adam Zampa today.

The leg-spinner took his maiden five-fer for Australia as Bangladesh were skittled for 73 but Zampa admitted it was not his best bowling performance in the storied gold and green.

He even saw a further chance dropped by Matthew Wade when on a hat-trick ball, Zampa reminding Wade with a sly grin that was his golden opportunity.

Zampa was not required in the straightforward run chase of 74 as Aaron Finch and David Warner put on an opening stand of 58, before Mitch Marsh hit the winning runs as Australia romped to an eight-wicket victory in just 6.2 overs.

For Zampa, his star turn began in the seventh over with Bangladesh already at 33 for four and he made matters worse for the Tigers by getting Afif Hossain with his first ball.

Afif departed for a four-ball duck having been caught by Finch at first slip as Zampa conceded just five runs off the over.

His next over perhaps revealed why Zampa did not believe it was his best performance, as he was clubbed for six by Shamim Hossain, however, the 29-year-old responded well conceding only one more run from the over.

The third over of his spell was where he really came alight, dismissing Shamim for 19, the top score in Bangladesh’s innings, before getting news batsmen Mahedi Hassan for a first-ball duck.

Unluckily for Zampa, that was the end of the over and in a cruel twist of fate he would have to watch as Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins were all given opportunities to bowl Bangladesh out.

Luckily for Zampa, only Starc was able to strike, dismissing Mahmudullah for 16 to leave the Tigers eight down.

And so, finally, it was time for Zampa’s hat-trick ball and he was facing fast bowler Taskin Ahmed who attempted a drive and instead got a thick edge sending the ball straight into the path of Wade.

But it wasn’t to be, the ball spilled out and before Zampa turned back to his mark, he just gently informed Wade: ‘That was my hat-trick ball.’

He would not have to wait long to right that wrong, three deliveries later he got Mustafizur Rahman caught at long-on. For the first time in Zampa’s T20I career, he had taken four wickets and two balls later had five when Shoriful Islam was caught by Finch.

Not only that, he had taken the first five-fer of the competition and was now leading the bowling standings, his ten wickets for the tournament put him two ahead of Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga and Anrich Nortje of South Africa.

However for Zampa, his performance wasn’t important – for him it was all about Australia upping their net run-rate and overtaking South Africa to sit second in Group 1, something they duly did, meaning qualification will go down to the wire on Saturday.

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