ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Aus vs Pak – From sickbed to match-winner – Pat Cummins lauds Adam Zampa

Adam Zampa 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, the legspinner bagged another four-wicket haul against Pakistan in Bengaluru 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 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 in the tournament so far, to kill off the chase.

“Yeah, Lazarus [Adam Zampa] 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. They’ve now climbed up into the top four and are looking like serious contenders for the title once again.

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