Marcus Stoinis stars with bat and ball as Australia beat Oman in T20 World Cup opener

    Allrounder Marcus Stoinis has produced one of the best performances of his international career to power Australia to a 39-run victory over Oman in their Twenty20 World Cup opener.

    Stoinis did it with bat and ball, helping Australia out of a tricky position following a sluggish start to their innings in Bridgetown.

    The 34-year-old became just the third player in T20 World Cup history – after Dwayne Bravo (West Indies) and Shane Watson (Australia) – to score a 50 and take at least three wickets.

    After being sent in to bat by Oman captain Aqib Ilyas, Australia struggled early before reaching 164-5 in an unconvincing 20 overs at the crease.

    Stoinis fired with an unbeaten 67 from 36 balls, smashing half a dozen sixes, including four during a vital 15th over.

    Veteran opener David Warner and Stoinis put on 102 for the fourth wicket after finally adjusting to the spin-friendly pitch, having at one point gone 30 deliveries between boundaries.

    Warner – who took his overall T20 total for Australia to 3,155 – anchored the innings during his 51-ball stay, in the process overtaking his former opening partner Aaron Finch (3,120) as Australia’s most prolific batter in the format.

    Oman never looked like chasing down the total, slumping to 34-4 in the eighth over as Stoinis claimed 3-19 to go with his brutal performance with the bat.

    Ayaan Khan (36) and Mehran Khan (27) showed some resistance for Oman, who lost to Namibia in their first match of the tournament, as they finished on 125-9.

    In typical Mitchell Starc fashion, the left-arm quick took a wicket in his first over, trapping Pratik Athavale lbw for a duck.

    But Starc (2-20) had to leave the field after his third over with soreness in his lower leg that Australia are hoping was only cramp.

    Starc, who spent more than two days in transit en route to the Caribbean, tried to stretch on the field, but later came off for treatment and further assessment.

    Earlier, star allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who has made five T20I centuries, was out first ball after Ilyas pulled off a flying catch at cover.

    Pat Cummins, who led Sunrisers Hyderabad to the Indian Premier League final last month, was rested, with Australia instead bringing in Tasmanian pacer Nathan Ellis.

    Australia are trying to become the first team to hold all three major International Cricket Council trophies – one-day international and T20 world cups as well as the World Test Championship – at the same time.

    Australia’s next game is a blockbuster against defending champions England in Bridgetown on Saturday.

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