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Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 21:22 UK

Leading trio secure warm-up wins

ICC WORLD TWENTY20
Venues: Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge Date: 5-21 June
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, Red Button and online, with live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live TV coverage on Sky Sports with highlights on BBC


Ricky Ponting
Ponting made a stand of stand of 104 with Michael Clarke

Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka enjoyed warm-up victories ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in England.

Australia cruised to a seven wicket win over New Zealand after a commanding bowling display was backed up by captain Ricky Ponting's 56.

The Windies thrashed Ireland by nine wickets with four overs remaining as Chris Gayle struck 88 from 56 balls.

And Sri Lanka inched home by four wickets against Bangladesh, the win coming with just two balls remaining.

Former skipper Mahela Jayawardene played some stunning strokes for Sri Lanka in his 43 from 28 balls.

In one over from Mohammad Mahmudullah he played a reverse sweep for four, sauntered down the wicket to flick over long-on for six, then played a conventional sweep for four more.

I feel we're doing okay with the ball and in the field, it's just with the bat we need to improve.

William Porterfield

But when he edged to the keeper with 39 needed from 37 balls the problems started for Sri Lanka.

Only six came off the next two overs but Jehan Mubarak hit three quick boundaries, and although wickets continued to fall, the requirement was whittled down to seven from the last over and victory was secured with a wide.

West Indies were chasing only 130 and had made 77-1 by the halfway stage of their reply, of which Gayle contributed 50.

Off-spinner Kyle McCallan's third over saw conceded two sixes and two more came in the decisive 16th over, sent down by medium pacer John Mooney.

Gayle, whose team were soundly beaten in both the Test and one-day matches against England, said it was a morale-boosting victory.

"It is good to get wins under our belts," he said. "People may say it is against a weaker opponent but that does not matter - if they beat us it would be a different story.

"It has been a fresh start for us, it is a different format of the game and we have had a couple of new faces in our dressing room.

Chris Gayle
Gayle was in typically ruthless mood with some fierce shots at The Oval

"We have some advantage of being here for such a long time and we have to try to put those negatives of the England series behind us and focus on what is ahead."

Ireland skipper William Porterfield was full of praise for his West Indies counterpart Gayle, following his match winning 88.

"When you're only defending 130 it's always going to be difficult, and when a player of his calibre gets going, it's not easy to stop," said Porterfield.

"It shows just what we'll facing over the next week or so, and it's up to us to improve as a team.

"I feel we're doing okay with the ball and in the field, it's just with the bat we need to improve.

"We need to put more partnerships and bigger ones together when we bat - we've got to learn to put a total together and how to build an innings."

Porterfield also confirmed that Ireland have arranged an extra warm-up match, against South Africa at Southgate on Thursday.

606: DEBATE
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Australia, chasing 148 to win against new Zealand, wobbled at 26 for two after James Franklin struck twice in his first over.

But an expertly paced stand of 104 between Ponting and Michael Clarke, unbeaten on 49, helped Australia to victory with four balls to spare as they made it two wins out of two following Monday's defeat of Bangladesh.

Earlier, Mitchell Johnson had taken four wickets as Australia restricted New Zealand to 147 all out, Johnson finishing with fine figures of four for 20 from four overs.

New Zealand never really recovered from a batting collapse which saw them lose openers Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder for a duck apiece before making just 21 for five inside six overs.

A stand of 71 between Scott Styris (42) and Peter McGlashan (49) revived the innings but the damage had been done.

Ponting, one of the world's best batsmen, went to fifty in 34 balls, including four fours and two sixes.

But in sight of victory, he was caught by Jacob Oram off Vettori and had to leave Andrew Symonds to steer the Australians to victory with a late 17.



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see also
World Twenty20 warm-up photos
02 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Pietersen to play through injury
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Ireland and Aussies win warm-ups
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Twenty20 takes centre stage
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 ones to watch
31 May 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009 results
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket


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