Australia suffered their second straight defeat in warm-up matches for the Cricket World Cup with a thrashing at the hands of South Africa. Ricky Ponting scored 55 and Michael Clarke 73 before Australia collapsed to 217 all out in 47.1 overs in Bangalore. South Africa reached their target with 34 balls to spare, with Australia taking only one wicket. Graeme Smith (65) and Hashim Amla (60) opted to retire before JP Duminy saw the Proteas home with an unbeaten 47.
The defeat came two days after Australia, winners of the last three World Cups, lost heavily to India. And while Ponting will be pleased with his own form after a second consecutive half-century, he will be concerned by the form of several of his batsmen and bowlers. The only wicket to fall in the entire South Africa innings was that of Faf du Plessis, who was run out for 12.
In other warm-up matches, half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara (71), Tillakaratne Dilshan (62), and Thilan Samaraweera (55) helped Sri Lanka successfully chase down a target of 282 for a four-wicket win over West Indies. Chris Gayle (58) and Darren Bravo (54) had given the Windies a flying start but three wickets apiece for Lasith Malinga, and Rangana Herath slowed their progress and they were bowled out for 281.
Pakistan duo Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah-ul-Haq both scored centuries in an 89-run victory over Bangladesh in Dhaka. The duo helped steer Pakistan to 285-9 before Bangladesh were bowled out for 196, with Abdul Razzaq (3-31) the chief destroyer.
In Colombo, Seren Waters carried his bat with an unbeaten 126 while Rakep Patel made 64 as Kenya posted 263-5 against Netherlands. But Ryan ten Doeschate struck an unbeaten 98 as the Dutch won by two wickets with five balls to spare. Andre Botha’s half-century ensured a four-wicket win for Ireland against Zimbabwe in Nagpur. – BBC