Steve Smith’s 89 in vain as New Zealand XI beat Australians by seven wickets

New Zealand XI beat the Australians in the second unofficial ODI at Brisbane as part of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on Wednesday by seven wickets.

NZ XI chased down a target of 277 with 14 balls to spare, riding on Will Young’s 130 off 132 balls. Tom Latham and opener George Worker made handy contribution with Worker scoring 56 off 79 balls, after losing his opening partner Hamish Rutherford for a first-ball duck to Mitchell Starc. Latham made an unbeaten 69, while Tim Blundell remained not out on 13.

For the Australians, Starc, coming off a three-month injury layoff returned 2/14 in his five overs while Michael Neser, Sean Abott and Kane Richardson leaked runs.

Earlier, Steve Smith hit an attractive unbeaten 89 but David Warner was out for a duck as Australia made 277 for six against a New Zealand XI in a World Cup warm-up on Wednesday.

Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell were also among the runs, scoring 56 and 52 respectively, but it was former skipper Smith who was the star attraction.

After being dismissed for 22 in his return to Australian colours on Monday after a year-long ban for ball-tampering, he made the most of his opportunity in the second of three “unofficial” one-dayers in Brisbane.

Smith came to the crease when Shaun Marsh was out for 28 and was in fine touch, stroking an array of fours and sixes, in a major boost for Australia ahead of their World Cup defence in England.

Warner, who made 39 on his return from the “Sandpapergate” scandal, didn’t fare as well.